A new social media post by action star Sylvester Stallone suggests he may be finally getting ready to work on The Expendables 4. In the midst of his success with the Rocky franchise in late ’70s and early ’80s, Stallone laid the building blocks of the action adventure genre of the era with his memorable turn as former Green Beret John Rambo in the 1982 classic First Blood. The film, which spawned three sequels in the ’80s, opened the door for many more action adventure superstars in the decade, most notably Arnold Schwarzenegger, who made a name for himself as the star of such blockbusters as The Terminator, Commando and Predator.
As Stallone and Schwarzenegger went on to star in more successful action adventure films in the 1990s and beyond, several other actors followed heir path, including Bruce Willis, Jason Statham, Jet Li and Wesley Snipes. And while some of the actors had more success than others in the genre, Stallone came up with an ingenious idea that would bring him and his action film brethren together, resulting in The Expendables in 2010. Fans worldwide embraced the film to the tune of a $274.4 million at the global box office, giving Stallone and company enough momentum to make The Expendables 2 in 2012 (which made nearly $315 globally) and The Expendables 3 in 2014 ($214.6 million globally).
While the global tally for The Expendables 3 came up more than $100 million short of The Expendables 2 and the franchise has been dormant for the past three years, it appears Stallone is continuing his push forward to get his action pals back together for The Expendables 4. On Instagram, Stallone posted a collage of photos from his action film days when he was very buff, along with the note, “Time to try to get back into action movie shape! Even though it’s almost an impossible dream you just got to keep going forward. You’re only as old as you feel. The brain is a muscle that should never ever stop being worked out!” See the post below:
While one of the photos is of Stallone as Rambo, in all likelihood the actor is hinting at another Expendables movie, especially since it was rumored just over a year ago that the franchise would be making a comeback in 2018. True, he could come back as Rambo, a la Rocky Balboa in Creed in 2015, but his revival of Rocky was only in a supporting turn and created a whole new narrative for the former boxing champ outside the ring. At 71, Stallone is clearly smart enough to avoid taking on a character like Rambo again – at least in the high energy capacity that he was presented in the 1980s – and filmgoers would likely be skeptical if he were thrown into the same action situations he faced more than 30 years ago.
Another Expendables film, however, would be perfect because Stallone’s Barney Ross would get to share the load of the heavy duties with about a dozen or more of his action film counterparts. Plus, despite the dwindling returns of the last film, the idea of having so many action film icons sharing the same screen at once is still a clever idea. With any luck, in addition to the likes of Statham and Schwarzenegger, perhaps Stallone can call upon Harrison Ford and Mel Gibson again after their memorable appearances in The Expendables 3. Plus, just maybe he can get Clint Eastwood out of acting retirement for one more go-round.