Jason Statham Gets Brutally Honest About Sylvester Stallone’s Small Role in Expend4bles

It seems that Sylvester Stallone’s lack of involvement in The Expend4bles was noticeable on set as much as in the final movie.


Warning: This articles includes spoilers for The Expend4bles.

Sylvester Stallone has been the driving force behind The Expendables franchise – from its original selling point of bringing together the biggest names in action movie history, to being the screenwriter on the first three movies and directing the original film way back in 2010. If the old guard seemed a bit past it in their first outing, then the biggest wonder is perhaps how they made it to a fourth installment 13 years later. Perhaps that is partly why Stallone felt this time around he would only have a limited role to play, and according to Jason Statham that just didn’t feel right.

The Expend4bles is currently dragging the franchise through the mud, over rocky ground and any other metaphor you can think of, with a catastrophic 16% Rotten Tomatoes score and a box office that is barely scraping into double figures. How much of that is down to the lack of involvement by Stallone is questionable, but one thing for certain is that the man who the Rocky star put in charge of the movie this time around has his own feelings on the matter. Speaking candidly to Cinema Express, Jason Statham shared his thoughts about Stallone’s absence from most of the movie. He said:

“In this particular story, he is absent for reasons we don’t talk about, we have to guide ourselves through the ocean without him. There is something about not having him around that doesn’t feel right. So, we are getting through, the story is the story, we are trying to do our best, but the best days are when he is on set.”

Stallone Makes The Expendables Work.

Expendables 4 Lionsgate 

The old adage of “if it ain’t broke” is one that seems to ring true of The Expend4bles current predicament. While The Expendables movies have always had their fair share of brutal reviews from those who are more interesting in an intellectual movie that just watching things being blown up, none have been as badly received as this fourth outing. The one big difference this time? A limited screen time from Stallone, and no involvement from him in either the story, screenplay or behind the camera.

Although one man cannot be held responsible for the success of an entire movie, in this case it certainly does seem to have had an impact, not only with the final product, but clearly with the other cast members as well. Although there is a reason for Stallone’s early departure from proceedings – which involves his character of Barney Ross faking his own death only to return in the movie’s finale – the reported “creative differences” that saw Stallone originally duck out of the movie and then return in his limited capacity looks to have been the undoing of this action blockbuster.

Whether there will be another outing for The Expendables in the future, as Stallone has already confirmed he will not be back for more, seems to be reliant on the performance of The Expend4bles. With a reported budget north of $100 million to recoup, and just $10 million taken in its opening weekend, this could end up being the swan song of the franchise rather than just Stallone’s Barney Ross.

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