I’ll be honest: I loves me a good ol’ fashioned, dick-swingin’, big-gun shootin’, dumb as a box of bullets action flick. It’s the guiltiest of guilty pleasures, but it’s hard to be a guy raised in the 80’s — the true heyday of mindless testoserone-fest films — and not have some nostalgia for that type of entertainment. Which is why I was so excited about The Expendables (which ultimately wasn’t as great as I’d hoped, but still somewhat fun), and why I’m still strangely attached to the Die Hard franchise (the most recent of which was so terrible, yet strangely watchable).
It was inevitable, of course, that the two franchises continue. The Expendables 2 (directed by Simon West) is actually filming right now in Bulgaria, and rumor has it that some more old-school badasses are making their way over there to join the fun. The rumor comes from David Varod, the CEO of a Bulgarian film studio Nu Boyana, which is affiliated with the project. Varod, in addition to being excited about the advantages of having The Expendables 2 filming in his homeland, stated in an interview that in addition to Sylvester Stallone, The Statham, The Rubbery Ghoul Known As Mickey Rourke, and Jet Li, the film would also feature none other than Chuck Norris, Jean Claude Van Damme, and John Travolta.
Nothing official has been announced, but if it’s true, it makes sense. The Expendables was a haven for cast-off action heroes and bulked-up squarejaws who aren’t getting parts in this post-Bourne film universe, so Norris and JCVD are likely reclamation projects. And besides, what the hell else do they have to do?
As for Die Hard, there will be a fifth entry. Apparently, the plan is to continue the expanding scope of the films — Nakatomi Plaza, then an airport, then New York City, then the United States. So for the fifth film? Apparently John McLane and his son (actor as of yet not cast) will… save the world. Yes, the whole world. Apparently they somehow end up in Russia and planet-threatening mayhem ensues. What’s most interesting is the short list of directors. The films have had a string of good-to-bad directors, including John McTiernan (Die Hard and Die Hard With A Vengeance), Renny Harlin (Die Hard 2: Die Harder), and Len Wiseman (Live Free Or Die Hard). OK, so there’s only one actually good director there (McTiernan). Regardless, the list for Die Hard 5: Die Hardesterest includes John Moore (Behind Enemy Lines, a crap movie with some surprisingly great action scenes), Joe Cornish (the motherfucking awesome Attack The Block), Justin Lin (Fast Five) and Nicolas Winding Refn (Bronson, Drive).
That’s a hell of a lineup. I’d love for Cornish to get a big budget shot, and Winding Refn would certainly be an interesting choice, but I’m guessing he’s a bit too… smart. Justin Lin also directed Better Luck Tomorrow and some outstanding episodes of “Community,” but I don’t know if that redeems the fact that he directed three Fast/Furious movies. As for John Moore, I’d say he’s probably the kind of guy that gets this type of gig. I’m guessing him or Lin.
(via Ropes Of Silicon)
Either way, every hero you had from the 80’s and 90’s is apparently going to storm across the ocean and kick ass.