The Expendables (film series)

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The Expendables
Directed by Sylvester Stallone (1)
Simon West (2)
Patrick Hughes (3)
Produced by Avi Lerner
Screenplay by Sylvester Stallone (1-3)
David Callaham (1)
Richard Wenk (2)
Creighton Rothenberger (3)
Katrin Benedikt (3)
Starring See below - Character list
Music by Brian Tyler
Cinematography Jeffrey L. Kimball, Shelly Johnson, Peter Menzies Jr.
Edited by Ken Blackwell, Paul Harb, Todd E. Miller, Sean Albertson
Distributed by Lionsgate
Release date
2010 – present
Running time
342 minutes
Country United States
Language English
Budget $272 million
Box office $804.1 million

The Expendables is an American series of ensemble action films written by and starring Sylvester Stallone and originally created by David Callaham. The film series itself was created to pay homage to the blockbuster action films of the 1980s and '90s and also pays gratitude to the action stars of those decades, as well as more recent stars in action. The series consists of three films: The Expendables (2010), The Expendables 2 (2012) and The Expendables 3 (2014), with a final fourth film scheduled to be released in the future. The series has received mixed critical reception, in regard to its plots and dialogue between the characters; however, many critics praised the use of humor and action scenes. The films have been box office successes.


The Expendables (2010)[edit]

The Expendables, a group of elite mercenaries who carry out all sorts of missions, ranging from assassination to rescue, are deployed to a South American island, Vilena, to overthrow a Latin American dictator, General Garza, who is interfering with the plans of a group of "people" led by a man known only as Mr. Church. However, the team leader, Barney Ross, soon realises that Garza is merely a puppet being controlled by a ruthless rogue CIA officer, James Monroe, who is Mr. Church's real target.

The Expendables 2 (2012)[edit]

A while after the first film, the Expendables accept another mission from Mr. Church to make up for losses caused by the mission in Vilena, but they end up in a conflict with a rival mercenary group, the Sangs, and their newest and youngest member is murdered by their leader, Jean Vilain. Ross swears vengeance on Vilain for his protegé's death and starts to track him down, in the process learning that Villain threatens the world with five tons of weapons grade plutonium he intends to excavate from an abandoned Soviet mine and sell to the highest bidder.

The Expendables 3 (2014)[edit]

The Expendables come face to face with the team's co-founder Conrad Stonebanks. Ross was forced to kill Stonebanks after he became a ruthless arms trader, but Stonebanks survived and has now made it his mission to destroy The Expendables. Ross resorts to recruiting a new and younger generation of Expendables to help the team overcome his old adversary.

Film U.S. release date Director Screenwriter(s) Story by Producer(s) Composer MPAA Rating
The Expendables August 13, 2010 (2010-08-13) Sylvester Stallone David Callaham & Sylvester Stallone David Callaham Avi Lerner, John Thompson and Kevin King-Templeton Brian Tyler R
The Expendables 2 August 17, 2012 (2012-08-17) Simon West Sylvester Stallone & Richard Wenk David Agosto, Ken Kaufman & Richard Wenk Avi Lerner, Danny Lerner, Kevin King Templeton and Les Weldon
The Expendables 3 August 15, 2014 (2014-08-15) Patrick Hughes Sylvester Stallone, Creighton Rothenberger & Katrin Benedikt Sylvester Stallone Avi Lerner, Danny Lerner, Kevin King-Templeton, Les Weldon and John Thompson PG-13
The Expendables 4 TBA TBA Sylvester Stallone[1] TBA TBA R[2]


The Expendables 4 (TBA)[edit]

In March 2014, Pierce Brosnan stated that he had agreed with Avi Lerner to star in an Expendables film, but added that he was not sure which one he would appear in, saying "I have no idea which one it would be, I just said yes. It could be [Expendables 7]".[3] Stallone revealed his first choice for the villain was Jack Nicholson.[4] The Expendables 4 will retain the R rating.[5] In December 2016, Stallone announced in an interview with The Hollywood Reporter that the fourth film will be the last film in the series and is set for a 2018 release date.[6] In March 2017, it was announced Stallone would be leaving the franchise due to disagreements over the script and direction of the franchise.[7] In April 2017, supporting star Arnold Schwarzenegger said he will not be returning for the fourth film without Stallone. After Avi Lerner threatened Terry Crews over his sexual assault lawsuit against Adam Venit, Terry Crews chose not to star in the film.[8] It was also announced that the film will retain its normal R-rating.

By January 2018 Stallone announced the development of another Expendables film on his social media page, confirming his return to the film series.[9] Randy Couture stated that filming for the fourth movie will begin in the summer of 2018.[10] Later, Deadline reported that Stallone will begin production on the film early-2019.[11]

The ExpendaBelles[edit]

In October 2012, Millennium Films, the studio behind The Expendables, announced plans for an all-female version of the film titled The ExpendaBelles.[12]

On October 28, 2013, Lerner was negotiating with actresses Meryl Streep, Cameron Diaz and Milla Jovovich to appear in the film and was looking for a female director to direct it.[13]

On February 6, 2014, Deadline reported that Robert Luketic was set to direct. The logline was also revealed:

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.[14]

In July 2016, Stallone made it clear that he is not involved with the female-centered spin-off.[15]

Television series[edit]

The Expendables is planned to be making the transition to the small screen for an event series in development, set to air on Fox network. Stallone is executive producing alongside the films’ producer Avi Lerner and Shane Brennan.[16]

Bollywood adaptation[edit]

In May 2013, Original Entertainment confirmed to have sealed a five-picture deal with Millennium Films to produce Bollywood remakes of Rambo, The Expendables, 16 Blocks, 88 Minutes, and Brooklyn's Finest, with the productions for Rambo and The Expendables expected to start at the end of that year.[17]

Video games[edit]

The Expendables 2 Videogame is a downloadable four-player cooperative shoot 'em up video game. It was published by Ubisoft for PC, PlayStation Network (PSN) and Xbox Live Arcade (XBLA) and released on July 31, 2012 for PSN and August 20 for PC (via Steam) and XBLA. The game's plot is a prequel to The Expendables 2, with Barney Ross, Gunner Jensen, Yin Yang and Hale Caesar appearing as playable characters. Lundgren and Crews voiced their respective characters. According to review aggregates Metacritic and GameRankings, the game received generally negative reviews.

The Expendables 2: Deploy & Destroy is a single-player tower defense, real-time strategy online game. Published by Roadshow Films and Soap Creative, the game was released on July 13, 2012. Its plot was derived from village scenes in the film, where players can choose their squad from the cast, set up defenses and battle the enemy.

A standalone expansion of the game Broforce was based on The Expendables 3. Entitled The Expendabros, it was released in August 2014. Later, The Expendabros expansion became free to play in order to promote The Expendables 3 and remained so until December 31.[18][19]



Box office performance[edit]

Film Release date Box office gross Rank Budget
North America Other territories Worldwide All time domestic All time worldwide
The Expendables[20] August 13, 2010 $103,068,524 $171,401,870 $274,470,394 636 473 $80 million
The Expendables 2[21] August 17, 2012 $85,028,192 $229,947,763 $314,975,955 835 391 $100 million
The Expendables 3[22] August 15, 2014 $39,322,544 $175,335,033 $214,657,577 2,033 655 $90 million
Total $227,419,260 $576,684,666 $804,103,926 $270 million

Critical and public reaction[edit]

Film Rotten Tomatoes Metacritic CinemaScore[23]
The Expendables 42% (202 reviews)[24] 45 (35 reviews)[25] B+
The Expendables 2 66% (127 reviews)[26] 51 (28 reviews)[27] A-
The Expendables 3 32% (162 reviews)[28] 35 (35 reviews)[29]
Average 47% 44 A-

The Expendables received mixed reviews from critics. The film review aggregator Rotten Tomatoes shows that 42% of critics gave the film a positive review based upon reviews by 202 critics.[30] At Metacritic, which assigns a normalized rating out of 100 to reviews from critics, the film has received a mean score of 45, based on 35 reviews.[31] CinemaScore polls, however, reflect solid audience approval with a B+ average grade.[32]

The Expendables 2 received mixed to positive reviews from critics. The film garnered a 65% approval rating from 124 critics – an average rating of 5.8 out of 10 – on the review-aggregate website Rotten Tomatoes, which gave the following consensus: "Taut, violent, and suitably self-deprecating, The Expendables 2 gives classic action fans everything they can reasonably expect from a star-studded shoot-'em-up — for better and for worse."[33] Metacritic gave it a score of 51 (out of 100) from 28 critics, indicating "mixed or average" reviews.[34] CinemaScore polls reported that moviegoers gave the film an average grade of A– on an A+ to F scale, compared to The Expendables' B+.[35][36]

The Expendables 3 received mixed to negative reviews from critics. On Rotten Tomatoes, the film holds a 33% rating based on 152 reviews with an average rating of 4.9/10. The site's consensus reads "Like its predecessors, The Expendables 3 offers a modicum of all-star thrills for old-school action thriller aficionados — but given all the talent assembled, it should have been a lot more fun". On Metacritic, the film has a score of 35 out of 100 from 35 critics


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  14. ^ Mike Fleming Jr. "Berlin: Robert Luketic To Helm Millennium's 'The ExpendaBelles'; Who Should Star?". Deadline Hollywood.
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  17. ^ McNary, Dave (May 15, 2013). "Original Ent. Plans Bollywood Remakes of 'Rambo,' 'Expendables' (EXCLUSIVE)". Variety. Retrieved May 20, 2017.
  18. ^ Jorge López. "Noticias broforce: Broforce muestra su nueva expansión, The Expendabros". IGN España.
  19. ^ "Steam Community :: Group Announcements :: Broforce".
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