12 Action Stars Expendables 5's Cast Needs To Revive The Franchise (2024)

Summary

  • Key takeaways:
  • The Expendables franchise needs new action stars to revitalize it after the fourth movie's poor performance at the box office.
  • Hollywood should consider hiring younger talent from the '90s to the 2020s to prevent the franchise from feeling stale and repetitive.
  • The inclusion of professional boxer Bud Crawford, martial artist Mackenyu, and actors like Pedro Pascal and Michael B. Jordan would bring authenticity, talent, and fresh energy to The Expendables 5.

If there's one thing that The Expendables 5 may need, it's an injection of new, exciting action stars to revitalize the franchise. Stallone and friends may have been on to something with previous entries in the franchise, but the third movie didn't fare well and even returning to an R-rating for the fourth movie didn't help. The Expendables 4's abysmal performance at the box office is a clear indicator that the series could use new blood to take it off of life support.

While many of the action stars of the 1980s are alive, well, and beloved the world over, it might be time for Hollywood to consider hiring talent from a more contemporary era. After all, while 2020's Bad Boys for Life saw Will Smith and Martin Lawrence reprise their iconic roles, the producers knew it would need to hire younger talent to prevent it from feeling stale and like a cheap rehash of what's already been done. Considering the abundance of action stars and rising talent from the '90s to the 2020s, Hollywood should strongly consider hiring younger and fresher talent if they expect Sylvester Stallone's franchise future to thrive.

12 Terence "Bud" Crawford

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Although not an actor, Terence "Bud" Crawford is a professional boxer and the current undisputed king of the 147-pound division. With a record of 40 wins (39 coming by way of knockout), and zero losses, Bud has proven to boxing pundits and critics that he is without a doubt one of the best to lace up a pair of gloves. Additionally, the pride of Omaha, Nebraska currently tops the pound-for-pound rankings list (think the Forbes list for boxers), and at 36 years old, doesn't appear to be slowing down anytime soon.

While it isn't uncommon for athletes and entertainers from other backgrounds to unsuccessfully try their hand at acting, the industry has seen success stories time and time again. Moreover, with Randy Couture and Victor Ortiz's inclusion in the franchise, Stallone has already proven that he isn't one to shy away from hiring popular or well-respected veterans in the fight game for his projects. A common concern associated with hiring athletes is the possibility of them suffering a career-threatening injury while on set. Despite the valid concern, Bud's currently enjoying time off after winning the biggest fight of his career earlier this July, and he very well could appear in The Expendables 5 if filming were to commence any time soon.

11 Saul "Canelo" Álvarez

Yet another professional boxer, Santos Saúl "Canelo" Álvarez Barragán (better known to fans as simply Canelo), is without a doubt one of the best boxers the sport has ever seen. Having started his professional career at 15 years old in 2005, Canelo has competed in sixty-three fights; amassing an impressive record of fifty-nine wins (thirty-nine by knockout), two losses, and two draws, and has shown immense heart and courage throughout his storied career. Even though his role in MGM's Creed III was brief and essentially a "himself" role, he did star in a 2017 Tecate Light beer commercial alongside the Italian Stallion.

If the stars were to align and Canelo received the call to appear in The Expendables 5, it would be a nice throwback to the Tecate commercial as both men have accomplished even more in their respective careers since then. Another benefit to the hiring of Canelo and Bud is the degree of authenticity both men would no doubt bring to their roles. They wouldn't waste money or time taking an obscene amount of takes for their action scenes on account of their punches and reactions to being punched don't look real. They do those things for real and if Couture's continued success with the franchise proves anything, it's that combat athletes and The Expendables tend to go hand-in-hand.

10 Mackenyu

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With his star-making turn as the feared swordsman Roronoa Zoro in One Piece, Mackenyu Arata (better known as Mackenyu) is on track to solidifying himself as one of the industry's rising stars. The son of the late legendary actor and martial artist Sonny Chiba, Mackenyu has already appeared in nearly 40 projects since his acting debut in 2015 - working hard to distance himself from his famed father's legacy and establishing his own. In addition to his starring role in One Piece, Mackenyu has also made appearances in Jojo's Bizarre Adventure: Diamond is Unbreakable Chapter 1, Rurouni Kenshin: The Final, and Pacific Rim: Uprising to name a few. At 26 years old and already developing a loyal fanbase, Mackenyu very well could be what The Expendables 5 needs to help get the franchise back on track.

9 Timothy Olyphant

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Always impressive yet somehow still underrated, Timothy Olyphant is perhaps best known for his work as Seth Bullock on HBO's Deadwood, Raylan Givens in FX's Justified and its sequel series Justified: City Primeval, and his role as Cobb Vanth in Disney's The Mandalorian. Known among his fanbase for playing slick-tongued officers of the law, Olyphant has also displayed on numerous occasions his ability to play seedy criminals audiences hate to love. Particularly, Olyphant's work in Justified is the biggest reason why his addition to The Expendables 5 would be beneficial as he convincingly displays a cool, calm, and collected demeanor no matter how tense a moment Raylan might find himself in. Furthermore, Olyphant naturally oozes charisma and charm and in a series filled to the brim with muscle-bound tough guys, it would be refreshing to see his brand of machismo on display.

8 Pedro Pascal

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Pedro Pascal is without a doubt one of the most beloved leading actors in Hollywood right now. Charming and incredibly talented, Pascal has wowed critics and endeared himself to fans with notable appearances in HBO Game of Thrones, Disney's The Mandalorian, and most recently in HBO's critically acclaimed The Last of Us adaptation. Pascal would be an excellent addition to The Expendables 5 because of his commanding screen presence and incredible range. Whether friend or foe, good or bad, or somewhere in between Pascal has proven time and again that he can excel in just about anything he gets his hands on, and with a loyal fanbase backing him, his name alone would no doubt ensure The Expendables 5's success.

7 Sigourney Weaver

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Best known for her iconic role as Ellen Ripley in Ridley Scott and James Cameron's Alien films, Sigourney Weaver has cemented herself as one of Hollywood's most formidable leading stars. Her work as Ripley firmly pushed back against the notion that action roles and movies were only reserved for big buff guys as Weaver convincingly held her own against the intergalactic threats. Weaver's inclusion in The Expendables 5 would also be greatly appreciated, as there is a noticeable lack of well-written women in the movies despite Stallone's best efforts. While audiences have seen the likes of Yu Nan, Ronda Rousey, and most recently, Megan Fox, the franchise is still lacking in the female action lead department. Weaver's resume speaks for itself, and her inclusion in The Expendables 5 would undoubtedly demand that her character receive the same amount of consideration, depth, and screen time as her male co-stars.

Related: 9 Reasons The Expendables 4 Bombed At The Box Office Despite $800M Franchise History

6 Nicolas Cage

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While Nic Cage's involvement in The Expendables 5 might come as a surprise to some, he's arguably one of the best-suited actors for the franchise. Quite possibly the most versatile actor on this list, Cage has proven time and time again that he's not only game for just about any role, but that he's also fairly capable of taking the material and turning it into something truly unique. Moreover, Cage is no stranger to the action genre with iconic appearances in Con Air, Face/Off, Gone in 60 Seconds, both Ghost Rider movies, and Kick-Ass, Cage has already proven that he's more than capable of utilizing his wacky charm in an action movie. Plus, it's Nic Cage: there are few people who wouldn't want to see him in The Expendables 5.

5 Michael Jai White

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Actor, director, and martial artist Michael Jai White is one of Hollywood's most prominent B-movie stars of his generation. Possessing a strong and magnetic screen presence, the agility and deftness of a cat, and enough acting jobs under his belt to make Nic Cage himself blush, it's a crime White hasn't already appeared in at least two movies in The Expendables franchise by now. Furthermore, White's familiarity and experience in the action genre is second only to a very small few as he has also been known to direct and choreograph many of the fight sequences in his films. Perhaps it is merely a matter of time, but fans and critics would truly be in store for something special should White ever find himself in The Expendables 5.

4 Michelle Yeoh

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Michelle Yeoh is without a doubt one of the most iconic women working in Hollywood and has held that distinction among fans for over 30 years. Yeoh started her career in the 1980s, earning prominence and recognition after a slew of well-received Hong Kong action flicks. In fact, her body of work in the genre is so extensive, one could spend all day compiling a list from worst to best of every Michelle Yeoh action movie. With her recent success with the Daniels' Everything Everywhere All at Once, Yeoh has not only broken down racial barriers intrinsic to Hollywood's history, but she's also cemented her spot as one of the industry's leading women. Similar to Weaver, The Expendables 5 would have to do its due diligence to ensure Yeoh's character was handled with respect should the Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon actress ever sign on for it.

3 Keanu Reeves

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Also referred to by hardcore fans as "The Internet's Boyfriend," Keanu Reeves is without a doubt a legend in the game at this point in his prolific career. Despite criticisms of wooden acting plaguing the actor's legacy, Reeves has worked hard to cultivate a loyal fanbase that continues to support him through the years. The actor is perhaps best known for his work in The Matrix and John Wick franchises, but his appearances in '90s classics like Point Break and Speed are strong examples of the actor's eagerness to take on physically challenging and demanding roles. While Keanu Reeves' deadly action heroes are how he's best known – and by virtually all real-life accounts is one – it would be fun to see the beloved star take on a villainous role should he appear in The Expendables 5 as it would expose fans and critics to a side of the actor rarely seen.

2 Michael B. Jordan

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Michael B. Jordan began his acting career in a blink-and-you'll-miss-it cameo in the legendary HBO show The Sopranos in 1999. Since then, the NAACP Image Award-winning actor has worked hard to develop an impressive resume of film, television, and even video game roles. Everything from his work on dramas like the criminally underrated The Wire and Friday Night Lights to his more commercial-friendly projects like the Creed franchise and Black Panther have displayed Jordan's ability to handle any material he's interested in with finesse. Jordan's inclusion in The Expendables 5 would be a welcome addition as the actor's very involvement would ensure massive financial gains, and given his A-lister status, it's arguable he could even lead the franchise should he join it.

1 Jackie Chan

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Jackie Chan is a legend, period. Across Chan's illustrious career, he's appeared in over 100 movies (most of them action flicks), performing nearly all of his stunts irrespective of the threats they pose to him to become an international icon. With beloved actor and martial artist Jet Li already being a part of The Expendables franchise, the question still stands whether Jackie Chan could appear in Expendables 5. While there are always scheduling conflicts to consider, fans of the legendary action star would no doubt appreciate his involvement with the franchise should his busy schedule ever free up. Even at 69 years old, audiences would pay good money to see the Hong Kong legend perform his law-defying stunts yet again. Similar to Reeves, it would be a joy to see Chan take on an ostensibly villainous role should he join the series. That alone would inherently be a convincing enough threat for The Expendables team to face in The Expendables 5.

12 Action Stars Expendables 5's Cast Needs To Revive The Franchise (2024)

FAQs

Who is not returning for Expendables 4? ›

Who is not returning for Expendables 4? Kellan Lutz, Ronda Rousey, and Glenn Powell are notably absent as members of the Expendables team in the latest installment, despite hints in the previous movie that they might return.

Who is the action star in The Expendables? ›

The Expendables is an American ensemble action thriller franchise conceived by David Callaham, spanning a film series, written by Sylvester Stallone and additional media. The films star an ensemble cast, notably Stallone and Jason Statham, and are produced by Avi Lerner and Kevin King-Templeton.

Why didn't Mickey Rourke return to Expendables? ›

Rourke Backed Out Of Expendables 2 To Star In Seven Psychopaths. Mickey Rourke played a small, but critical, role in The Expendables cast as Tool, who finds jobs for the titular team.

Who replaced Bruce Willis in Expendables? ›

Willis was also set to reprise his role in The Expendables threequel before the payment conflicts arose between the actor and the producers of the film, and he was later replaced with the Indiana Jones star Harrison Ford.

Who refused to be in Expendables? ›

Van Damme turned down a role in 'The Expendables 1′ because his character was “a flat and undeveloped” Jean-Claude Van Damme himself was the one who revealed in an interview for the medium Filmstalker that he turned down a role in the first film of the saga 'The Expendables', directed and starring Sylvester Stallone.

Is Eddie Hall going to be in Expendables 4? ›

Eddie Hall Documentary About Strongman and 'Expendables 4' Actor Acquired by Generation Iron (Exclusive) - IMDb. A documentary about Eddie Hall, the strongman and “Expendables 4” actor, has been acquired for worldwide theatrical release and streaming by sports media company Generation Iron.

Why did Arnold Schwarzenegger leave Expendables? ›

His reasoning for not wanting to come back is tied to the growing workload that the franchise asked of him. He stated that he only did the first Expendables as "a favor to Sly" and shot his scene in one day. With the sequels adding him in even more, Arnie wanted to avoid the same happening in Expendables 4.

Why was Bruce Willis dropped from Expendables? ›

According to the Hollywood Reporter, Willis demanded $1 million (£645,000) PER DAY. He was needed on set for four days. A source close to the production told the most reputable magazine: “He said he'd drop out unless he got $4 million.

Why did Jackie Chan refuse Expendables? ›

Chan, who was reportedly offered The Expendables 2 and 3, apparently felt that his presence in the movie would have been overshadowed by other stalwarts like Arnold Schwarzenegger, Jason Statham, and Jean-Claude Van Damme.

Who was the highest paid actor in The Expendables? ›

Jason Statham Made Approximately $52 Million For The Expendables Movies. Statham was reportedly the highest paid actor of Expend4bles, raking in a massive $25 million payday for reprising Lee Christmas in the 2023 film.

Was Steven Seagal in any of The Expendables? ›

Steven Seagal will never appear in 'The Expendables' movie because of his feud with Van Damme. In a 2014 interview for the Big Issue media, and with 'The Expendables 3′ about to be released, Seagal revealed why he has never appeared in a movie of this blockbuster saga created by Stallone.

Why is Antonio Banderas not in Expendables 4? ›

During a recent interview with ComicBook.com, Waugh revealed that Banderas did not return to The Expendables 4 due to availability, but noted that his character "was so quintessential to the comedic moments." The director explained that Galgo's dialogue was reworked for his son and went on to praise Scipio's ...

Who was left out of the Expendables? ›

Notable actors like Mickey Rourke, Bruce Willis, Terry Crews, Jet Li, and Arnold Schwarzenegger have departed from the franchise, while new actors like Tony Jaa, Iko Uwais, and Andy Garcia join the ensemble for the fourth installment.

Why is Arnold not in Expendables 4? ›

His reasoning for not wanting to come back is tied to the growing workload that the franchise asked of him. He stated that he only did the first Expendables as "a favor to Sly" and shot his scene in one day. With the sequels adding him in even more, Arnie wanted to avoid the same happening in Expendables 4.

Why isn't Banderas in Expendables 4? ›

During a recent interview with ComicBook.com, Waugh revealed that Banderas did not return to The Expendables 4 due to availability, but noted that his character "was so quintessential to the comedic moments." The director explained that Galgo's dialogue was reworked for his son and went on to praise Scipio's ...

Why did Expendables 4 flop? ›

Expend4bles has not been a success with either critics or at the box office. Expend4bles lacks much of the classic cast and replaces them with non-action stars. The Expendables series has been on a downward trajectory, especially as 1980s nostalgia has dried up.

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