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Oh My Stars and Garters

Breaking: The Next Expendables Film Will Feature A Female Action Star Cast

Don’t bother pinching yourself. You’re awake. This is actually happening. With The Expendables 2 just hitting theaters this weekend, Variety is reporting another Expendables-type film will feature a cast made up of female action stars. Hit the jump for my reaction and oh yeah, all the details we know so far. 

Here’s what I looked like when I heard the news.

But seriously, is this not the coolest news we’ve heard in a long time? The idea of the original Expendables film, created by David Callaham and Sylvester Stallone, was an action movie fan’s dream. It brought together Stallone, Jason Statham, Jet Li, Dolph Lundgren, Randy Couture, “Stone Cold” Steve Austin, Terry Crews, Mickey Rourke, Bruce Willis, and Arnold Schwarzenegger. And yes, the studio thought it was good enough to make another but someone is already thinking further ahead in the franchise.

According to Variety, “Adi Shankar’s banner 1984 Private Defense Contractors has tapped Dutch Southern to write an all-female riff on the star-studded action franchise. Shankar (‘The Grey’) will produce for 1984 Private Defense Contractors, which plans to fully finance the ‘Expendables’-inspired project. Company is already in talks with several prominent actresses affiliated with the action genre.”

Variety didn’t specificy which actresses were being approached but director of The Expendables 2, Simon West, recently told E! News who he’d like to cast in a third film. “I like the idea of the Expenda-Belles where it’s seven or eight women mercenaries,” he said. “It would be Angelina Jolie, Cameron Diaz, Milla Jovovich, the list goes on. Helen Mirren, Jamie Lee Curtis would be great.”

Did a year filled with money-making action films starring a woman in the lead role finally knock some sense into Hollywood? We can only hope. Either way, this is supremely cool news. The only downside I see is West mentioned some of the actors from the first two films would also be in the film and that takes away time from the ladies getting to do their own thing.

I’d like to expand West’s list with my own suggestions of some women who have proven themselves quite worthy when it comes to kicking butt and blowing stuff up: Zoe Bell, Charlize Theron, Gina Carano, Michelle Yeoh, Kate Beckinsale, Summer Glau, Tracie Thoms, Sigourney Weaver, Linda Hamilton, Lucy Lawless, Jennifer Garner, Katee Sackhoff, Pam Grier, Sarah Michelle Gellar, Lucy Liu…well, I could go on. Add your own suggestions in the comments!

(via AceShowBiz)

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  • Anonymous

    If they want to go with the practice of using older, or “previous generation” action stars…Cynthia Rothrock

    Aaaand, I just made myself feel old, didn’t I?

  • Tamara Brooks

    To add to that list: Linda Hamilton, Sigourney Weaver, Cynthia Rothrock, Maggie Q, Chole Moretz, Michelle Yeoh, and Rhona Mitra. With a cameo by Lynda Carter.

  • Tamara Brooks

     Nope, I remember her! They would show her movies on regular tv in the afternoon when I was a kid. :)

  • Anonymous

    That one I’d go see.  Couldn’t make it through the first one, slightly more curious about the 2nd (Chuck Norris lol).

  • Steven Ray Morris

    Moon Bloodgood, Zoe Saldana, Mary Elizabeth Winstead also!

  • Tamara Brooks

    And Michelle Rodriquez. I truly believe that should could beat that ass.

  • Crystal Leigh Simula

    Michelle Rodriguez, and of course, Gina Torres!!!

  • Daniel Swensen

    This is pretty funny, considering the marketing for the first movie was “RAWR MEN GO SEE EXPENDABLES INSTEAD OF EAT PRAY LOVE OR THE WOMEN WIN AT MOVIES AND WE CAN’T HAVE THAT AM I RIGHT FELLAS HIGH FIVE” 

    Glad to see they’re abandoning that, and thumbs up for this.  

  • David Mancha

    Carrie-Anne Moss,Uma Thurman,Michelle Yeoh,Bridget Fonda

  • Sarah

    I loved the Expendable movies because they don’t pretend to be anything but a ridiculous action movie. A ridiculous action movie with an all female cast that KNOWS it’s a ridiculous action movie? OH MY DEAR WHEDON YES. 

  • James Rowland

    Bruce Willis==Linda Carter
    Arnold Schwarzenegger==Sigourney Weaver
    Sylvester Stallone==Linda Hamilton
    Jason Statham==Gina Carano
    Jet Li==Milla Jovovich
    Dolph Lundgren==Lucy Lawless
    Terry Crews==Jamie Lee Curtis
    Randy Couture==Michelle Yeoh
    Mickey Rourke==Pam Grier or Helen Mirren
    Charisma Carpenter==Jon Hamm
    Giselle Itie==Ryan Gosling

    I love Pam Grier, but the idea of a drunk tattooist Helen Mirren makes me smile.

  • Kaarel Jakobson

    It would actually be quite amazing to have three or so generations of female action heroes represented, with someone like Sigourney Weaver as the tough-as-nails veteran leader, someone like Chloe Moretz or Saoirse Ronan as the newbie of the team, and a bunch of other adults in between.

  • Anonymous

    Not to poke a hole in the bubble here, because I think this is a great idea, and I’m all for putting Cynthia Rothrock in there (as suggested in an earlier comment), but the Variety article notes this is inspired by The Expendables, but not an actual sequel.  Stallone controls the Expendables franchise, and last I heard, he was going after the likes of Eastwood, Steven Seagal and Nic Cage for Expendables 3.

  • Genny Bee May-Montt

    They totally need Cynthia Rothrock!!! She’s the best!

  • Jenny Cabotage

    All I have to say is SQUEEEEEEEEE! :D :D :D

  • Genny Bee May-Montt

    I agree, they totally need Cynthia Rothrock. She’d totally come out of “retirement” for that. 

  • Comic Book Candy

    “Directed by Kathryn Bigelow”

  • Anonymous

    It should be:
    1-2 “older/top” fems as the leads (Uma/Jolie/Yeoh) w/ the team being a majority of “legit” tough chix (non-compete-stunt double-dependent) comprising the team: Michelle Rodriguez, Milla Jovovich, Gina Carano, Maggie Q. 
    1. They don’t have comparative action backgrounds compared to their male counterparts but share the vital “I led my own action film” prerequisite = legitimacy
    2. Nearly none have the lack suspension-of-disbelief, waif action star criticism (So the likes of Zoe Saldana & Kate Beckinsale = out)
    3. new team almost always = young hotness
    4. comedy awaits w/ old-man jokes, not cougar lines (So: Rothrock/Curtis/Mirren = out)

  • Nick Gaston

    Naaaah…Cynthia was just who I came in to suggest.

    I’d also suggest Adrianne Palicki, if only so she could finally get an action role filmed AND released. ‘Course, that bad track record might mean she’s cursed…but hell, we’ve still got Summer Glau nominated, right?

  • Kev Tomes

    “Expendables 3: The Clones of Cynthia Rothrock”

  • Deirdre

    What about Carrie Fisher? Crack shot with a blaster still counts!

  • Anonymous

    From the little I gathered about that comment, it seems you want the likes of Jamie Lee Curtis and Helen Mirren “out” because they’re not “young and hot” and because of “cougar lines”? And you want Kate Beckinsale out of a movie where she may get to kick ass along with other awesome ladies because of “waif action star criticism”? 

    I don’t get it. Can anyone translate? Also, I don’t think I’ll be watching your movie, D0P.

  • John Evans

    Hmmm. Well, this could actually be pretty cool. I’m all for it.

  • Anonymous

    Holy AWESOME!! O.o

  • Anonymous

    How can you guys mention Katee Sackhoff and not Grace Park?? And in addition to Pam Grier why not Zoe Saldana, Rosario Dawson or Gugu Mbatha-Raw? More WOC is always a plus in my book

  • Katharine Tapley

    Helen Mirren. Helen Mirren for EVERYTHING!

  • Steve Farber

    How about Amanda Tapping?  She’s got it all over those other broads!

  • Adam R. Charpentier

    The Hurt Locker was god awful. Did she direct anything else?

  • Adam R. Charpentier

    I’m only basing this off your comment, not the previous (if it’s relevant, I’ll go back and read), but I would rather see fewer waif action stars. Likewise, whereas Stallone looks like he’s trim & cut for “Bullet to the Head”, Arnold looks small and old in “The Last Stand” trailer and it pushes the limits of my imagination almost as much as Jovovitch does…some people have action chops, some have the build for it, some don’t.

  • Adam R. Charpentier

    Many of the comments below suggest that an action film starring Joss Whedon’s finest choices would make for a killer action movie and I would agree if Joss Whedon were helming…but otherwise, not so much. Sarah Michelle Gellar, Eliza Dushku, and Summer Glau look like they can kick plenty of ass when they’re supernaturally powerful, de-programmed psychic soldiers, or robots, but otherwise I think the idea behind Expendables should showcase 80′s action greats, like Rothrock, Weaver, and (pre-80′s, I know) Grier…it would be great if Zoe Bell were in it as well and other women that can do their own stunts, can actually perform believable martial arts…and don’t require as much cutting and special effects as the likes of Gellar necessitates.

  • Anonymous

    OK, go watch a movie with (too) old females and others who can’t do action then. 

  • Adam R. Charpentier

    Since Stallone is planning to be in the Expendables 3 and rounding out his new cast choices, I’m assuming this is someone’s plan to make money off the concept, not an actual Expendables 3, right?

  • Erica Chanel

    two words GRACE JONES!!!!!!!!!

  • Smoke Tetsu

    She directed Point Break.

  • Smoke Tetsu

    I would be interested in seeing this… as much of a fan I was of the male cast I feel “meh” about seeing the first two Expendables movies or playing that video game they are making. Just something about seeing “Grumpy Old Action Heros” doesn’t appeal to me.

  • Thalia

    Sigourney Weaver is a must, like you said. I could see her leading the team. So many opportunities for women of color in the film, too!

  • aprilc

    Gina Torres, Angela Bassett, Grace Jones, Jane Fonda, Carrie Fisher, Gina Davis, Jada Pinkett-Smith, Tina Turner, Sigourney Weaver, Jennifer Garner. It is a long hot list…. any of these women would be great… But it all up to Stallone. 

  • Rose Fox

    It’s Lucy Liu, not Lui.

  • Adam R. Charpentier


  • Brenda/Lysana/either

     Though I’d rather see them be their own characters. Making it gender-bent from the original would be a bit too obvious/easy. I do like that list of actors, though!

  • Deceleration Waltz

    It’s Lucy Liu, not “Lui.”

  • Amanda LaPergola

    Is there a “do not like” voting feature in the comments?  No?  Well, that’s too bad.

  • Amanda LaPergola


  • Anonymous

    unfortunately, disagreement comes at the cost of anonymity and being subject to review, a price too high for some, sadly.

  • Desiree Gonzalez

    Eva Mendes needs to be on this list!

  • Steven Ray Morris

    I’m pretty sure Zoe Saldana could kick your ass. I mean I don’t want to presume anything… Also I’m pretty sure Helen Mirren could kick my ass and I would be A OK with that.

  • Totz_the_Plaid

    I want to see your list turned into a movie franchise. Might as well toss Eliza Dushku in as well, though. And hell, why not Scarlett Johansson and Anne Hathaway since they were just badass superheroes this summer as well? I could also go for Sophie Aldred, Louise Jameson and Freema Agyeman since Ace and Leela were the two most badass female companions of the classic series (that are still alive… Elisabeth Sladen would be on my list as well since Sarah Jane was one hell of a badass as well), plus Martha Jones was kicking serious ass the last time we saw her. Mae Whitman was also kickass as Roxy Richter in the Scott Pilgrim film, and as the voice of Katara on Avatar: The Last Airbender, so she’d be a good one, I think.

    Only problem, though… gotta keep it down to maybe eight at most in any given film so that they all have time to show how badass they can be and get character development as well. Too much of a good thing would overwhelm the movie and make it lame instead of kickass. Definitely one case where less is more.

    (Also, minor point, but isn’t it Lucy Liu, not Luci Lui?)

  • Vanessa Craddock

    Gina Torres

  • John Wao

    Ziyi Zhang (Crouching Tiger, Hidden Tiger), Eliza Dushku (Buffy), Aisha Tyler (XIII), Gina Torres (Firefly), Michelle Ryan (Bionic Woman), Karen Gillan (Doctor Who), Evangeline Lilly (Lost), Zoe Saldana (Losers), Lena Headey (300), Rose McGowan (Planet Terror), and Carrie Anne Moss (The Matrix).

  • John Wao

    She also directed Strange Days, an awesome movie.

  • Anonymous

    Which just reminds me we need Angela Bassett.

  • Summer


  • Samantha Wilson

     And not die for a change!

  • Rebecca Herber

    I just realized no one has mentioned Claudia Black!

  • Sue-Ann Cooper

    Yes. YES!

  • Keegan Gan

    please get sienna guillory!

  • Umesh Mudunkothge

    I KNOW RIGHT?!? It pisses me off cuz i’m like ok…better brace myself for heart break if shes in it  -__-

  • Anonymous

    She’s probably too young, but if they need a teenager in the cast, I vote for Maisie Williams.

  • Kaarel Jakobson


    Action movies involve tons upon TONS of unrealistic elements that we ignore because we’re used to them. Why would you cut out awesome female action stars because of “realism?”

  • Joanna

    Heehee, the female Sean Bean lol.

  • Anonymous


    There is a line, a point where the audience consensus is such that they cannot suspend their disbelief. Its less of a subjective situation than you’d think. In one regard and objectively speaking, if you need a stunt double and camera tricks much less than others, you are unquestionably better. At the same time, twilight hatin aside, there’s a reason why audience’s balked at Taylor Lotner’s action movie. While I didnt see it, I assume he needed (& will need in the future) a stuntman far less than others, but w/ his overwhemingly weak projection & presence (that go beyond his mousey voice/face) he is isn’t better than most.  

  • Jaime A. Garcia

    They should´ve cast Michelle Yeoh in this one.

  • Amanda LaPergola

    Oh my God, what would happen if Michelle Rodriguez and Sean Bean were in the same movie?

  • Amanda LaPergola

    You talk funny.  Let’s fight!

  • Laura Truxillo

    You NEED Sigourney Weaver.  And Lucy Liu and Sarah Michelle Gellar.  And Uma Thurman. Oh wow, this would be, like, the best action movie ever!

  • Laura Truxillo

     ”substantive to dissent with.”

    Heh, aw, somebody had their Thesaurio’s for breakfast today.  Precious.

  • Laura Truxillo

     For the record, the one woman in my dojo who scared the crap out of everyone from me (medium-sized gal) to the biggest, burliest man we had was this four-foot-eleven waif.  If someone’s got enough presence and enough skill, you really don’t find yourself questioning whether they can knock your head off your shoulders with one kick.

  • Laura Truxillo

     Betty White can be the one pulling all the strings.

  • Adam R. Charpentier

    @facebook-39602926:disqus  I agree, however, I rarely see the presence you’re describing in the actresses normally chosen for these sorts of parts by fans. I suspend my disbelief when Gellar smashes a man through concrete because Buffy is a supernaturally strong vampire slayer. Glau is a believable crackshot in both her Terminator role and brain damaged psychic pixie role. However, did Jolie’s King Tut’s corpse-thin arms in Wanted sell me that she was a badass? Not so much. Uma Thurman is small and played badass great in Kill Bill, ditto the slightly more muscled Michelle Rodriguez in…everything I’ve seen her in.
    I’ve seen it work…and I’ve seen it fail. We all remember the gossip surrounding The Hunger Games (Lawrence looked too “well fed” for the role) but I’d genuinely like to see more solidly built actresses cast as action leads rather than the petite favorites usually chosen. Luckily, if there is a film made starring older (80′s and earlier) action stars, that shouldn’t be such an issue…

  • Cristian Flores

    YES. I don’t buy Zoe Saldana…….in anything. Kate Beckinsale is getting stale. She was ok in Underworld…but that’s about it…

  • Cristian Flores

    So it’s ok for The Expendables to have (butt ugly) old as hell action stars, but the all-star female cast has to be young……..

  • Aaron Scorringe

    Totally agree with Sigourney Weaver, as long as she’s the team leader.

  • Shania

    …And where the hell is Jackie Brown on this list?!

  • Christopher Chamberlain

    Cannot believe no one has mentioned Brigitte Nielsen, Darryl Hannah, or even Sharon Stone.  They’d all likely be at least friends with half the guys in the first two movies and haven’t been in all that much of late…

  • Tina

    It would be like the cat and the peanut butter sandwich.

  • Casey Sullivan


  • schbank

    I’d throw Yvonne Strahovski into the mix.

  • Ali Miller

    …Claudia Black…

  • Jayme

    Oh god yes, Lucy Lawless!

  • MadMike

     And she directed Near Dark; screw Twilight, THAT is how you do a modern vampire movie!!!!

  • Elisa

    Lena Headey! Also, Angela Bassett, Gina Torres, Michelle Rodriguez…

  •élano/100001109493441 Alberto Cox Délano

    Rep to Saoirse all the way

  •élano/100001109493441 Alberto Cox Délano

    Hellen Mirren as The Oracle
    Pam Grier as The Boss
    Sigourney Weaver as The Ranger
    Michelle Rodriguez as The Pointwoman
    Angelina Jolie as The Inside Woman
    Summer Glau as The Commando
    Michelle Yeoh as The Sniper
    Saoirse Ronan as The Rookie (How about we semi-reboot Alien, forgetting all about 3 and Resurrection, but bringing Sigourney back and Saoirse as Newt, 15 or 20 years later -Sigourney hasn’t aged one bit- living happily as mother-adopted daughter, until they are called to ward of a looming threat approaching Earth?)


    Kelsey Grammer as The Bad Boss
    Kenneth Branagh as The Right Hand
    Gerard Butler as The Henchman
    Guy Pearce as The Hitman
    Danny Trejo as The Turncoat Henchman

    … aaaand

    Bryan Cranston as The Informant

  • Tiffany Rose

    Seriously! Glad this is the first comment, but WHY is she not on this list? Gooby pls. 

  • Anonymous

    I gave a legit reason for my opinion of a preference for youth –  they can play off of the overall age difference between the teams and the fact that the younger can do more. & here’s a reminder on those ‘butt ugly old as hell guys” -They’ve done and can still do so much more than their respective age counterparts.   

  • Anonymous

    Laura Truxillo: 
    there’s a reason why I included Maggie Q and Summer Glau. They are pretty slender but Summer can do more physically and bring a dynamic look and ability to the group moreso than Zoe and Kate. Maggie Q. obviously takes care of business, but here’s a lil fact for people who can’t tell the difference in the action genre – she was trained under Jackie Chan. As Mr Adam said, either the looks or the chops. 

  • Kate Coleman


  • Anonymous

    “Good morning, Angels.”

    “Good morning, Betty!”

  • Jon Hartley

     Yep, the author/site just decided to take some major liberties with the headline, apparently.

  • Adam R. Charpentier

    It’s still a good idea, of course. Just checking. And ty.

  • kace a

    Milla Jovovitch is a must, Katee Sackhoff and Summer Glau would be great too.  I would Love Sarah Michelle Gellar(if we have her id also LOVE Eliza Dushku) Im gonna be an ass here and say no to Jolie(might as well say Hell no tho im sure she’s still be in it).  Michelle Rodriquez would kinda HAVE to be in it seeing how she’s pretty typecast(tho im sure she doesnt mind it i’d love to be an action star too) if they can bring in Bruce ans Arnold then hell yeah we’d hafta have Sigourney Weaver too.  Id say no to Jennifer Lawrence only because there are ppl on this list who have done TONS of action and she’s done one Hunger Game movie so far.  She did great but maybe give her a part in a sequel if this goes well.  Id also like Sienna Guillory.  People may not have seen how action-y she can be but i hope RE Retribution will show her worthwhileness.  Id also say yes to Lucy Lawless, and hell in Lucy Liu and Cameron Diaz are considered throw in Drew too and give us a litttle nod since we dont really want another charlies angel lol(or i dont since full throtle exists)

  • Yassine Loghmari

    sarah michelle gellar <3

  • Anonymous

    Zhang Ziyi (probably mispelled)

  • Danny Shiflet

    Any comment that talks about suspension of disbelief for Beckinsale or Saldana, that simultaneously RECOMMENDS waif action mainstay Summer Glau is rather laughable. Hell, even the characters IN UNIVERSE find Summer Glau kicking ass hard to believe.

    And in her 2 action series, they even had to explain her toughness as being the result of something other than her natural abilities. In one, she was a cyborg, who are stronger and tougher than humans regardless of size, and in another she was a psychic who had been experimented on to make her an assassin, in neither universe was she even depicted as someone who could kick ass just as a normal person.

  • Sean

    If they get Uma Thurman in, then consider my ticket bought.

  • Yassine Loghmari

    sarah michelle gellar <3

  • Leslly

    Summer Glau!!!! please!!!

  • Matt Dukes

    Cynthia Rothrock!!!




    Choi Sooyoung!! REALLY this girl lives, breathes and EXHALES
    (LITERALLY) Kick Ass Personality, don’t believe me? Watch it yourself!!!

  • Cory Havens

    I liked Near Dark, but Let the Right One In is how you do a modern vampire movie.

  • Tralarris L. Smith

    No one even mentioned Gillian Anderson…>.>…You know…the lady from X-Files.
    I’m sure she could fit in somewhere…maybe a small spot…like a FIVE to TEN minute spot.

  • Anonymous

    Cynthia Rothrock NEEDS to be added to this list!! She’s perfect for this film.

  • Guest

    Cynthia Rothrock should be added to this list…she is perfect for it!

  • Tony Coates

    Top of the list for me is Cynthia Rothrock. No offence, but most of those mentioned can’t hold a candle to her action-wise. She’s been there done that & got the T-shirt, from her days headlining Hong Kong action movies (one of the few westerners to do so), through to her large catalogue of Western made martial arts/action movies.
    Plus she could help get fellow cast members into fighting shape…In my opinion she deserves this after her massive contribution to the genre.

  • Chris Evans

    Cynthia Rothrock

  • Anonymous

    Moretz is 15-16; I’ve never heard of any mercs that were teenagers (male or female), have you?

  • Jill Pantozzi

    Have you seen Léon: The Professional?

  • Anonymous

    Yes, I have, and that was a one-time thing; this idea of having Moretz as a merc working for a PMC isn’t realistic even in the milieu of The Expendables.

  • Anonymous

    Lynda, NOT ‘Linda’.

  • Anonymous

    Why should said jokes even come up?

  • Anonymous

    I love you for the first two ladies mentioned.