With the confirmations of Jackie Chan and Wesley Snipes for Expendables 3, all attention is now directed at Steven Seagal’s potential involvement with the series. Since admitting in March that Seagal was not on board, Sylvester Stallone has lit up the Twitterverse with hints that he has recommenced talks with the 61-year-old martial arts legend.
“Just talked to STEVEN S. in Moscow …Sounds great and says he wants to be in EX3, if the part fits….”
— Sylvester Stallone (@TheSlyStallone) May 19, 2013
“….Calling SEAGAL this morning.”
— Sylvester Stallone (@TheSlyStallone) May 17, 2013
Though Seagal has only appeared in one theatrical movie (Machete) since 2002’s Half Past Dead, fans of The Expendables series have been waiting for him to join the lineup since the announcement of the first film. After the appearance of Chuck Norris and Jean-Claude Van Damme in EX2, it seems almost a travesty that the most non-expendable Expandable could once again fail to fill the void left by his absence.
It is well known that Stallone has personally been hunting down all these old action stars and that he has continuously been offering a role to Seagal since the production of the first film. And Seagal has continuously turned him down. Speculation has circulated that Seagal has boycotted the series due to an ongoing beef with producer Avi Lerner (Rambo). Seagal and Lerner had problems on the production of Today You Die which led to lawsuits and counter lawsuits. With Lerner set to co-produce the third entry, Seagal may just be saving himself from unnecessary tension on set.
Though Seagal has kept himself busy in recent years, releasing blues albums and acting as reserve duty sheriff, it is hard to justify turning down this opportunity as a sound career choice. Together, the headliners for EX3 have accumulated more than $8 billion in box office revenue when adjusted for inflation. The combined worldwide box office intake for the two released Expendables films is just under $600 million. Seagal’s three highest grossing movies (Under Siege, Executive Decision, and Exit Wounds) combined only equal $200 million. By any stretch of the imagination, Seagal’s return would be welcomed as a comeback.
As of this date, Segal has made no public comment in response to Stallone’s tweet. Writing and pre-production are currently ongoing, with production is slated to start in August, for release sometime in 2014. Australian director Patrick Hughes of Red Hill will helm the third installment.