Scott Waugh, the director of The Expendables, has spoken out against Sylvester Stallone’s imminent departure from the franchise.
Since the first film’s release in 2010, the action superstar, 77, has played Barney Ross, leading a cast that includes Arnold Schwarzenegger, Bruce Willis, Jet Li, Dolph Lundgren, and Jason Statham.
However, he disappointed fans when he announced his retirement from the project in 2021, following the completion of the fourth film, dubbed Expend4bles.
Scott Waugh dropped a surprise before of the film’s debut, implying that this would not be the last time we see Barney on our screens.
‘In my life, I’ve been around a lot of stunt men and I’ve been around a lot of actors that have made these statements of, it’s the last one they’re going to do,’ he told us.
‘I would say, the majority of the time, somehow they end up coming back.
‘I would say yes, it’s a magical pass off of the torch, to Statham from Sly, but I would not be surprised if somehow Barney comes back.’
Sly appeared to announce his exit from the Expendables world in October 2021, following the completion of filming for the sequel, which was released today in theatres.
Taking to Instagram at the time, he told fans in a video: ‘They just finished a pretty successful stunt and it’s time to be moving on. This will be my last day, so I’m enjoying it but it’s always bittersweet.
‘When something you’ve been so attached to – I guess it’s been about 12 years – and I’m ready to pass the baton on to Jason and his capable hands.
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‘The greatest thing is being able to provide films that are somewhat entertainment, and maybe there’s a little message in there, because what I try to convey in my successful films is the human touch, the bond. Not so much the action, the action is self-evident.
‘It’s just relating to the audience in a way that they can identify with whatever the mission is with the characters at hand. Just providing escapism and hopefully there’s a little something extra in there. That’s the hard part – heart, energy and humor.’
Along with Sly’s message, Scott discussed whether he would be interested in returning to the director’s chair for a prospective Expendables 5 sequel – and who he would want to see join the ensemble.
‘For me, personally, it would be amazing to keep on going with the franchise,’ he continued. ‘It’s a lot of fun. The talent is very, very amusing to work with, we have a lot of good giggles on set. It’s special to be part of some of these bigger franchises.
‘Who I wish we could have in the fifth one is if we could reinvent and bring back Steve McQueen. I think he’d be awesome. But obviously that’s not going to happen. I just think he would’ve been the coolest addition to the Expendables.
‘We have to see when the script is ready, we would have to find what character is being written, to see who could facilitate that character. There’s always new and exciting action men and women popping on the scenes. We’ll have to see in the next year or two.
‘If fans want one, hopefully we’ll find another new cool actor to bring in.’
Bring it on!
Expend4bles is in cinemas now.