Over a year ago we told you that Millennium Films, the company behind The Expendables, is doing a female-focused version of their action franchise called, yes, The ExpendaBelles. There are certain people you’d expect to pop up in an film like that—say, Sigourney Weaver or Linda Hamilton. Or actresses like Gina Carano and Katee Sackhoff, though not them specifically, because they’ve already hitched their stars to another female Expendables movie.
One name I definitely didn’t expect to see pop up in the first slate of ExpendaBelles casting rumors? Meryl Streep. And yet.
The source of the news is Millennium Films chairman and founder Avi Lerner, who told Bulgarian newspaper Standart that he’s negotiating with Streep, Cameron Diaz, and Milla Jovovich to be in the film. For all we know “negotiating with” means he sent Streep’s agent the script and they’re using it to line a birdcage. But even if it doesn’t pan out, the fact that the ExpendaBelles‘ ideal casting is Meryl effing Strep is pretty cool all by itself.
Cameron Diaz and Milla Jovovich: Also cool. But they’re not Meryl Streep. I mean, who is?
(Side note: Call Helen Mirren, Lerner. And Judi Dench. Do it. Do it now.)
“The action movie will be spectacular – and in nothing inferior to the three male movies of the The Expendables. There will be battles, special and visual effects and stunts – the spectacle will be equivalent to what Sylvester Stallone, Arnold Schwarzenegger, Jason Statham, Harrison Ford, Mel Gibson, Bruce Willis and Jean Claude van Damme have done … Two excellent screenwriters are already working on the picture. Now we are in search of a female director.”
Those two screenwriters are Karen McCullah Lutz and Kirsten Smith, who wrote Legally Blonde. The fact that Millennium is actively searching for a female director is new. Considering how few opportunities are afforded to female directors compared to their (often no more experienced) male counterparts, it’s pretty darned amazing, too. Plus it gives me hope that we’ll get a female action film that’s light on the male gaze. Skin-tight outfits and high heels might be sexy, but they’re just not practical when it comes time for some ass-kicking.
So, to recap: There’s a female action movie. The title of which is a pun. It’s written by the team who wrote Legally Blonde. It might have a female director. And Meryl Streep might be in it.
How many drowning puppies must I have saved in a past life to deserve this wonderment?!