Stallone says Harrison Ford in and Bruce Willis out for 'Expendables 3'
I love how Sylvester Stallone has embraced the immediacy of the Internet over the last few years. When I was at Ain't It Cool, he first reached out to Harry and did a series of Q&A sessions there that were fascinating because you could see how little filter he appeared to have in discussing his work.
These days, he uses Twitter to update fans on his films as he moves through development, announcing things like casting and even talking about things he'd like to do that aren't set in stone yet. It really doesn't feel like there's a publicist orchestrating things, and I think that's the key for any celebrity using social media. The more "official" something feels, the less interesting it is. People want to see someone like Alec Baldwin lose his shit at someone on Twitter because, more than anything else, it humanizes them. With Stallone, the charm of his social media presence is just how clear it is that he's enjoying this latest act of his career enormously, and he is aware of how tenuous all of it can be.
At this point, Stallone seems perfectly happy revisiting his old material as many times as possible. "Creed," the film in which Rocky trains the grandson of Apollo Creed, is yet another canny way of squeezing a little more life out of the Balboa story, and I salute Stallone for figuring that out. I'm sure he'll keep toying with "Rambo" ideas just in case there's a great one. And, of course, he has become the driving force behind "The Expendables," a pre-fab franchise if I've ever seen one.
The big idea remains "get as many action stars as you can in one film, playing both good guys and bad guys," and Stallone has certainly been vocal about all the names he's been chasing for the next film. Jason Statham, Jet Li, Dolph Lundgren, Randy Couture, Terry Crews and Mickey Rourke are all reportedly returning, and I would be shocked if Arnold Schwarzenegger didn't turn up in some capacity. As far as new additions, Stallone has mentioned Jackie Chan, Wesley Snipes, Mel Gibson, and Clint Eastwood all as people he'd reach out to, people he'd want to add to the film if possible. He's mentioned talking to Steven Seagal in Moscow and he's discussed the enthusiasm from Wesley Snipes, and there was one other name he mentioned, one which apparently became true today.
"WILLIS OUT… HARRISON FORD IN !!!! GREAT NEWS !!!!! Been waiting years for this!!!!"
WILLIS OUT... HARRISON FORD IN !!!! GREAT NEWS !!!!! Been waiting years for this!!!!— Sylvester Stallone (@TheSlyStallone) August 6, 2013
That's awesome. I like the idea of Ford chewing a little scenery, hanging out in some Central American jungle with the rest of these guys, having some fun in the role. I bet it's not going to be a major starring role, but more of a short appearance. We talked to him last week about his work in "Anchorman 2," which really was just one day on set, and I'm curious how much bigger a role he'll have in "The Expendables 3."
It's worth nothing that Stallone's next tweet came immediately, and read:
"GREEDY AND LAZY …… A SURE FORMULA FOR CAREER FAILURE"
GREEDY AND LAZY ...... A SURE FORMULA FOR CAREER FAILURE— Sylvester Stallone (@TheSlyStallone) August 6, 2013
Seems like Stallone wasn't content just to replace Willis, but also wanted to make it clear that the decision was made on Bruce's end via negotiations. This is where not having a publicist run this account becomes most apparent. This might not be the most politic way to handle the Willis thing, but I find the kid-like enthusiasm of the first tweet and the passive-aggressive kick in the teeth of the second tweet to be an amazing glimpse into just how personally Stallone still takes all of this.
Patrick Hughes will be directing the film that Stallone claims "will out-raid 'The Raid,'" which is no small order.
"The Expendables 3" is set for August 15, 2014.