Sylvester Stallone’s late career renaissance is taking an even more interesting turn.  Comeback player, er, actor of the year Mickey Rourke has signed on to join Stallone’s latest thriller “Expendables.” 

According to Variety, “The Wrestler” star is joining an already eyebrow-raising cast of international action stars including Jet Li, Jason Statham, popular UFC fighter Randy Couture and another ‘80s action hero, Dolph Lungdren.  As previously reported, Forest Whitaker has also come on board and now the trade discloses Ben Kingsley is circling the project.

While the kitsch factor of a number of former action stars is intriguing on its own, let’s be honest here, when was the last time anyone thought Stallone would be directing two Oscar winners in a picture let alone a potential third in Rourke?

Rourke, who credits Stallone with helping get his career back on track with a role in 2000’s “Get Carter,” will play an unscrupulous arms dealer who becomes the key man for a group of mercenaries on a mission to topple a South American dictator.


Financiers NuImage/Millennium distributed their previous Stallone release, “Rambo,” through Lionsgate, but is it possible they could take this buzz-worthy flick somewhere else? MGM, Summit and even a few major studios such as Paramount Pictures would have to be interested based on their current 2010 release schedules.  Especially when this is the sort of flick that has EW cover written all over it.

Production on “Expendables” is expected to begin this March in Brazil.