Sylvester Stallone’s absence from The Expendables was evident both during filming and in the finished product.
The Expendables franchise owes much of its success to Sylvester Stallone, who not only assembled an all-star cast of action movie legends but also wrote and directed the first three films. However, with the fourth installment receiving poor reviews and struggling at the box office, Stallone decided to take a backseat, which didn’t sit well with Jason Statham. Statham admitted that the story had to proceed without Stallone, but he felt that something was missing on set. In short, Stallone was the driving force that made The Expendables work.
The saying “if it ain’t broke” appears to apply to the current situation of The Expendables. The franchise has always received mixed reviews, particularly from those who prefer more intellectually stimulating films over explosive action. However, the fourth installment has been the most poorly received, and it may be due to limited screen time from Stallone, who had no involvement in the story, screenplay, or directing.
Although one person cannot be held accountable for the success of a movie, it does seem to have affected both the final product and the other cast members. Stallone’s early exit from the film is explained by his character faking his own death, only to return in the climax. However, the reported “creative differences” that prompted Stallone’s departure and subsequent return in a reduced capacity likely contributed to the downfall of this action-packed blockbuster.
The future of The Expendables franchise, which Stallone has confirmed he will not be returning to, may be determined by the performance of The Expend4bles. With a budget of over $100 million and only $10 million in box office earnings during opening weekend, this could mark the end of the franchise altogether.