It was only a matter of time. With the success of ‘The Expendables’ franchise, Stallone decided to push it. He couldn’t help himself, and the result will be ‘The ExpendaBelles.’ Why, Sly? Why?
Deadline Hollywood reports:
Robert Luketic has come aboard to direct The ExpendaBelles, the estrogen-powered equivalent of the testosterone-fueled Millennium Films franchise The Expendables. …
The logline: 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. …
[Executive Producer Avi] Lerner said he was in talks with Meryl Streep, Cameron Diaz and Milla Jovovich. I’m told that nobody is set and that they are just now coming up with the short list.
When ‘The Expendables’ came out in 2010, guys who grew up in the 80s were psyched because their childhood action heroes were teaming up at least one more time to kick ass and take names. A super team of testosterone-fueled muscle heads together in movie? Even if it was bad, it was going to be good. It was a throwback to a time when action stars had real muscles and the explosions weren’t created inside a computer. Since all aging guys love to show the young ones that they “still got it,” you couldn’t help but root for Sly and his band of merry mercenaries. Fans got to see Stallone go head-to-head with JCVD in ‘The Expendables 2’ and the final installment this summer will without a doubt have a showdown that will be worth the price of admission (even if the rest of the movie is forgettable). How can any action movie starring Meryl Streep and Cameron Diaz compete with that?
‘The Expendables’ worked because it had a fairly large built-in audience that was hungry for the product. Just the prospect of Stallone, Schwarzenegger and Willis tearing it up together on screen was worth millions — even if the reality ended up being cameos by Arnold and Bruce. Women typically don’t like shoot-em-up action flicks. They just don’t. And guys don’t want to see Meryl Streep as a “high-class call-girl.” Casting Angelina Jolie, Milla Jovovich and Sigourney Weaver would be a good start, but what is the likelihood of nabbing the three of them?
The reason why guys still are willing to see a Stallone movie is because they know he does crazy stuff to his body in order to get the shot. Arnold and Sly end up in the same hospital for shoulder surgery because they’re still slinging weights and throwing punches. They put their body on the line to get that bone-crushing blow on film. They’ll put up with bruises if they can convince you they just took a few punches to the kidneys that said, “Get ready to pee blood for a week, buddy.”
Will Ms. Streep or Cameron Diaz do that? Of course not. That’s not to say they’re bad at their craft … it’s just that they simply aren’t going to draw the same kind of numbers for an action film that the right Stallone vehicle can.
“When America’s Navy SEALs are wiped out…” you call Meryl Streep and Cameron Diaz? Get the heck out of here. Linda Hamilton in 1991 shape? Okay. Maybe.
Do you remember the story of Icarus, who flew too close to the sun? Well, Stallone and Millennium Films are doing that with ‘The Expendables.’ It’s a bad idea, it has a high probability of failure (unless Quentin Tarantino randomly decides to direct), and its under performance will be blamed on sexism instead a gimmick that went too far.
Now if you’ll excuse me, I have the ‘Expendables 3’ trailer to watch. I hope the guys go out of on good note.