On the occasion of the release of “Expendables 4”, here are five things to know about this fourth installment of the muscular franchise initiated by Sylvester Stallone in 2010.
What is it about ? A new generation of actors teams up with action’s biggest stars for Expendables 4. Jason Statham, Dolph Lundgren, Randy Couture and Sylvester Stallone are joined by Curtis “50 Cent” Jackson, Megan Fox, Tony Jaa, Iko Iwais , Jacob Scipio, Levy Tran and Andy Garcia. New members, new styles, new tactics for this explosive new opus!
(Very) big names expected
The project for a fourth opus dedicated to The Expendables emerged in early 2014, even before the release of the third film. At this moment, it is a question of making it a conclusion of the franchise. However, in 2017, Sylvester Stallone left the ship due to artistic differences with the production. Finally, a year later, the famous actor reconsidered his decision and announced his return for a new part.
Note that, when the project was in its early stages, Stallone wanted to see Jack Nicholson and Clint Eastwood as villains. There was also talk of Pierce Brosnan taking part in the film.
Who plays the bad guy?
Iko Uwais plays the main antagonist of the film. He takes over from Eric Roberts, Jean-Claude Van Damme and Mel Gibson. The 38-year-old actor is a formidable fighter and seasoned martial artist. He impressed the world in the two-parter The Raid in 2012 and 2014 (which many viewers consider to be the best action/martial arts franchise of all time), before heading to Hollywood.
We notably saw him in 22 Miles with Mark Wahlberg and Snake Eyes, spin-off of GI Joe.
Arnold Schwarzenegger is not coming back
If he was there in the first three parts, Arnold Schwarzenegger does not return in this fourth opus. The actor, interviewed by Parade, returned to his absence: “It’s filmed, and I’m not in it. When I told Stallone, ‘We did it, and I’m done with it now,’ he really understood.”
“I did the first Expendables as a favor for Sly. We shot it quickly, one Saturday for two hours in a church with Bruce Willis. Sly said to me, ‘Oh, could you do Expendables 2?’, and I did it over a weekend. Then there was Expendables 3. But we’ll do something together again one day.”
Expendables 4: who is the film with Stallone and Statham dedicated to?
A good deal so far
Released in 2010, Expendables: Special Forces grossed approximately $268 million worldwide on a budget of $80 million. Two years later, the second opus generated 312 million for a production cost of 100 million. In 2014, Expendables 3 marked a significant decline with $209 million in worldwide revenue for a budget of $90 million.
Things get even worse for this fourth opus. Released on September 22, 2023 in the United States, Expendables 4 had the worst start of the franchise by grossing only $8.3 million for its first weekend of operation. The blockbuster then saw its attendance drop by 71% in one week with 2.4 million collected.
Still on the figures side, note that Jason Statham was paid 25 million dollars to play in Expendables 4. Which is much more than Sylvester Stallone who received 3 million (he is, however, much less present on screen than Statham in this new shutter).
To see at the cinema: Expendables 4, a new deluge of action for Stallone and Statham
What does Expendables mean?
The word “expendable”, in its literal translation, means something relatively unimportant, something expendable once and then abandoned or destroyed. But it is with the translation into military language that we better understand why the term is associated with the heroes of the saga, since it designates equipment or personnel deemed worthy of being sacrificed to achieve an objective.
With this last translation in mind, the Expendables films can be viewed with a sharper eye: the members of the special unit are incorruptibles ready to do anything, even sacrifice themselves, to help desperate cases.