The Expendables 2 Casting Rumors: John Travolta, Taylor Lautner, Chuck Norris, Nicolas Cage, Christian Slater, and More!
08.30.11 by BrentJS
Not only was Sylvester Stallone able to put together an impressive ensemble cast of action movie icons for his 2010 movie, The Expendables, but he actually managed to turn a healthy profit with the movie, despite the many naysayers who predicted that it would flop.
Stallone, who wrote, directed, and starred in The Expendables, has chosen to take a less active role the second time around. However, what's most important to fans is who will be in front of the camera. We've compiled the recent casting rumors and they suggest that Stallone is looking to broaden the appeal of the cast to reach an even wider range of moviegoers, a smart move if he has further plans for the franchise.
The Expendables 2 is supposed to go into production next month, but so far the only cast members confirmed to return are Stallone and Jason Statham. However, Stallone has commented many times about bringing everybody back for the sequel, which could mean the return of Dolph Lundgren, Terry Crews, Jet Li, Mickey Rourke, Arnold Schwarzenegger, and Bruce Willis (who Stallone said he would like to see play "a super villain"). Stallone has even mentioned the possibility of bringing back "Stone Cold" Steve Austin, despite the fact that his character, Paine, presumably burned to death in the first movie.
The first major rumor about new cast comes from David Varod, CEO of Bulgaria-based NU Boyana studios, who recently said that The Expendables 2 will "definitely" begin filming in Bulgaria "the second week of September" and that it will include "some very big stars" that had not previously been linked to the movie.
The movie is on, definitely. It will be a very good thing for Bulgaria, since there are some very big stars coming... Sylvester Stallone, Jason Statham, John Travolta, Arnold Schwarzenegger, Chuck Norris, Jean-Claude Van Damme, Dolph Lundgren, Mickey Rourke... Who else? Of course, Bruce Willis. The director is Simon West, who is also a name. He is already here and has started working on the film. I believe the sequel will be better than the first movie.
An action star who is said to have been offered a "tailor-made" role in The Expendables 2 is Chinese actor Donnie Yen of the popular Ip Man martial arts franchise. According to Twitch, a representative for Yen confirmed that an offer had been made, but said that Yen is weighing his options. The addition of Yen, a huge star in China, would be a big boon for Nu Image, which has been looking to improve its exposure in China, even trying to "partner with a Chinese distributor and shoot some scenes in that country" so that The Expendables 2 would be able "to secure one of the Chinese government's approximately 20 revenue-sharing slots per year for imported pictures."
Finally, MovieHole has reported that an anonymous "contact" has revealed that the casting decision-makers — Stallone, Simon West, and producers Avi Lerner and Boaz Davidson — have set their sights on Taylor Lautner, Christian Slater, Christopher Lambert, and Academy Award–winner Nicolas Cage. While Lambert and Cage would fit right in with the returning cast members as action movie icons, Lautner and Slater would likely be the cast additions that would do the most to bring in new fans because of their appeal to female moviegoers. Official casting announcements are expected to be forthcoming.
Ken Kaufman and David Agosto have been hired to write the script for The Expendables 2.