80s action stars stick together. As this week Arnold Schwarzenegger claimed that The Expendables is nothing without it's frontman Sylvester Stallone. The 69-year old would know a thing or two about replacing the shoes of a face iconic with a brand. Having replaced Donald Trump for one season of The New Celebrity Apprentice on NBC this year.
Following the news that Stallone parted ways with Lionsgate over the creative direction of the series ahead of a 2018 release for The Expendables 4, his co-star for The Expendables 3 told Entertainment Weekly that a fourth installment was a bust without his involvement.
“There is no Expendables without Sly," he stated. "I would never do the movie without him, no.” Quizzed if he knows where production is at for the sequel, Schwarzenegger kept his cards close to his chest. "I have not seen the script; I don’t even know if there is a script, even though they want to shoot in August again, like they usually do.”
Arnold: I Had No Value In Poorly Written E3
Giving an open and honest assessment about his inclusion in the 2014 feature next to his friend and colleague, Schwarzenegger believed that his character Trench Mauser offered little to the story and could have been executed far better. Not identifying the screenwriters by name (Creighton Rothenberger, Katrin Benedikt and Stallone), the Terminator star remained a fan despite his less than appealing role.
“You know, I think the first and second one were terrific,” he said. “But, the third one, I thought my part was not written well. It was also not playing well in the movie, as far as I was concerned. Maybe other people believed differently. But I didn’t believe that I had any value in the movie. I love the franchise, by the way. I think it’s a spectacular franchise, The Expendables. I think that Sly has good ideas, what he wants to do with it, and I think if they write a really good script (in) which my part is very well-developed, I would do it. If not, then I won’t do it.”
Studio: We Just Need To Compromise On 5% For Sly To Return
Producer Avi Lerner wanted a right of reply after news leaked about Stallone's decision. Rather than using a carrot or stick approach, he explained that it was only the small details that need to be ironed out for him to comeback.
"We've got disagreements with Sly, but we've had them for over a year and a half," he remarked. "Right now, each one has opinion. We agreed on 95% of things, but there are certain things in production we don't agree on. I don't think it's over, but write whatever you want. In my opinion, it's not dead."