Mere days after we announced that Bruce Willis had bailed out of co-starring in The Expendables 3 over a measly million bucks (because what’s a lousy million $$$ between good friends? Apparently a lot more than just a million dollars on its own) only to be replaced by much bigger – and reportedly much nicer – Hollywood action icon Harrison Ford, the production has added another pair of heavy hitters to its cast.
Deadline’s Mike Fleming Jr. is reporting that Mel Gibson and Antonio Banderas – both long-rumored to be up for roles in the soon-to-film franchise action sequel – have joined The Expendables 3. Though the part being played by Banderas has yet to be revealed, Gibson is said to be playing the film’s main villain. Both actors are also appearing in similar roles in the upcoming Machete Kills. Several months ago Stallone hinted at the possibility of Gibson directing the sequel before the job was handed to Patrick Hughes.
Gibson and Banderas join a cast that continues to swell with old faces returning to the series and new faces climbing aboard for their first jaunt. They both have extensive experience in playing action heroes in the past. Judging by the recent Machete Kills trailers, Gibson is quite obviously having a ball walking on the dark side. Banderas hasn’t kicked any serious ass on the silver screen since Once Upon a Time In Mexico (I’m not counting that wretched Legend of Zorro), but he has the distinct advantage of having worked with star Sylvester Stallone in the past on 1995’s Assassins, which Richard Donner directed from a screenplay by the Wachowski sibs.
Based on the cast list that continues to grow with many rumored names yet to sign on, The Expendables 3 could very well be the best movie in the series. Meanwhile, Bruce Willis can now sell his disinterested smirk to a higher bidder. His modest void has been filled quite nicely.
The Expendables 3 opens in theaters on August 15, 2014.