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Saturday 20 September 2014

Expendabelles is happening - but what's the ultimate line-up?

Published 06/08/2014 | 14:57

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Linda Hamilton in Terminator
Sigourney Weaver in Alien
Milla Jovovich in Resident Evil

Expendables star Sylvester Stallone has confirmed that an all-female spin-off, The Expendabelles, has been greenlit and will start filming early next year.

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Stallone, who directed the first Expendables film, and stars in all three, made the announcement at the London premiere of The Expendables 3.

"With Expendabelles you’ve got a situation where we’re in unchartered waters to put all women together and think 'will that really work?'" he said.

"We don’t just want to use the name – it needs to be something that can hold its own."

Stallone joked about how he would love to see Sigourney Weaver play his on-screen wife, "Are the Expendabelles really part of a divorce where Sigourney Weaver, who's my wife, inherited half the Expendables ... she'd get the house, the kids and my mercenaries.”

No cast members have been announced but film website Screen Rant has suggested Cameron Diaz, Milla Jovovich, and Meryl Streep may be in talks.

The Expendables franchise has gathered together action stars of the 80s and early 90s and the appeal lies in watching these stars - including Sly (68), Dolph Lundgren (56), Arnold Schwarzenegger (67), Mickey Rourke (61) and Randy Couture (51) - unite on the big screen to collectively kick ass.

Jason Statham is the baby of the bunch at just 47.

So, what of Expendabelles?  Female action stars were few and far between in the 80s, with more emerging in the 90s and to see the earliest crusaders including Alien star Sigourney Weaver and Terminator star Linda Hamilton unite on the big screen would certainly be a novelty. Add Grace Jones and Brigitte Nielsen to the mix and you're on to a winner.

However, a synopsis of the film released earlier this year suggests the film may require more sex appeal than action skills.

“When America’s Navy SEALs are wiped out trying to penetrate the island lair of a deadly despot who has captured one of the world’s top nuclear scientists, it becomes clear that there is no such thing as the right man for the job and that this is a mission so impossible that only women can handle it.

"The only way in: some of the world’s deadliest female operatives must pose as high-class call-girls shipped in by private plane to satisfy a dictator – and instead save the scientist and the day.”

Ah yes, the only way in is to pose as high-class call-girls.  Of course. 

Will Sigourney Weaver be leaping into her thigh high boots to bag a role?  Helen Mirren might be up for a bit of fun - she did the groundwork in the tongue-in-cheek actioner Red 2.  And what of today's go-to female action stars Gina Carano and Michelle Rodriguez? 

With the right cast and an irreverent tone Expendabelles could be a winner, which makes Legally Blonde director Robert Luketic an inspired choice to direct. 

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