Andy Garcia has boarded the expanding ensemble cast of The Expendables 4, per The Hollywood Reporter. The fourth film in the action franchise will feature returning players Sylvester Stallone, Jason Statham, Randy Couture and Dolph Lundgren. Curtis “50 Cent” Jackson, Megan Fox and Tony Jaa will be featured as series newcomers.
Plot details are being treated like state secrets, but Garcia will reportedly play a CIA handler who accompanies the Expendables on their mission. Like the previous films in the franchise, The Expendables 4 will also focus on a mismatched gang of mercenaries and pay homage to the action films of the ‘80s and ‘90s.
Need for Speed and Act of Valor filmmaker Scott Waugh is set to direct, and filming is expected to begin in October. Spenser Cohen wrote the script, with revisions by Max Adams and John Joseph Connolly. It’s the first film in the franchise to not have Stallone as a credited co-writer. The veteran star also directed the first film, with Simon West taking over as director on The Expendables 2 and Patrick Hughes at the helm of The Expendables 3. It was reported a few years ago that Stallone had turned down the offer to return.
The Expendables franchise appeared to have breathed its last after the third installment, which debuted in theaters in 2014, but was majorly impacted at the box office because it was leaked on piracy sites mere weeks before release. It ended up being the lowest-grossing entry in the series, making just over $200 million worldwide on a reported budget of around $100 million.
The first two Expendables films were far more successful, though. The tongue-in-cheek novelty of the first installment, released in 2010, pushed it across $274 million worldwide, and the second film, armed with goodwill, made over $300 million.
Funnily enough, The Expendables 4 seems to be, at least as of now, the only film in the series to not rely heavily on stunt casting — unless we’re completely off the mark and have misjudged 50 Cent’s presence. While the first movie featured Mickey Rourke and Eric Roberts, the second one brought in Chuck Norris and Jean-Claude Van Damme. The third one took it a step further and somehow convinced Harrison Ford, Mel Gibson, Kelsey Grammer and Antonio Banderas to drop by. Over the years, the franchise has also featured action icons such as Bruce Willis, Jet Li and Arnold Schwarzenegger.
It remains to be seen if there’s still a market for this kind of movie — it’s possible that a decade will have passed between these films by the time the currently undated The Expendables 4 is finally released. A female-led spin-off, titled The ExpendaBelles, was also in development, but there hasn’t been an update about it in years.