Lionsgate and Sylvester Stallone could sure use a fresh hit when it opens August 13th. But what an irresistible concept seeing Stallone directing and starring with Jason Statham, Jet Li, Randy Couture, Mickey Rourke, Dolph Lundgren, Steve Austin, Terry Crews, and even Bruce Willis and Arnold Schwarzenegger (for nanoseconds). It’s the kind of old school camp that the action box office needs. So what will it make? My box office gurus are predicting at the very least $30+M and maybe as much as $40M because it’s R-rated, only 2D, but helped by a short running time of only 1 hour, 43 minutes. Comic-Con: ‘The Expendables’ Panel
Luke Y Thompson is covering the Con for Deadline:
There were rumors circulating that The Governator would show up. Arnold Schwarzenegger didn’t. First out is Terry Crews, who rips his shirt off and jiggles his pecs. Then Stone Cold Steve Austin (moderator Harry Knowles incorrectly calls him “Steve Stone-Cold Austin”). Dolph Lundgren comes out in a suit without a tie. Randy Couture was casual. (Knowles says Couture has “seriously the scariest forearm ever”.) Then Sylvester Stallone, in sunglasses, white shirt and tie, joked: “I thought about becoming a lawyer in case this doesn’t work.” Then warned he might take off the tie later and strangle somebody with it. Crowd starts chanting “Rocky!” Crews says Stallone had him at hello. Does a great impersonation of Sly asking him to be in the movie.
Austin had been disappointed when he learned all the Expendables had been cast, but got a call to be the villain. He’s always enjoyed playing a bad guy, and when Sly offered him the role on the spot, he accepted on the spot. “I enjoyed kicking all these guys’ asses.”
Bruce Willis sneaks up behind the panel, saying he just wanted to come and say hi and thank Stallone publicly; he was grateful to have a scene with “all three of us” (#3 being Schwarzenegger). Stallone had originally written two separate short scenes for each one – his scene with Arnold …