Expendables 4 Being Jason Statham’s Movie Continues
Jason Statham appears to be the main star of The Expendables 4, suggesting that the franchise is finally ready to embrace contemporary action cinema.
Sylvester Stallone’s suggestion that Jason Statham will have a bigger role in The Expendables 4 continues to improve the state of the franchise. As an action movie franchise that traded on nostalgia for the 1980s heyday of the likes of Chuck Norris, Arnold Schwarzenegger, and Dolph Lundgren, The Expendables always had a limited shelf-life due to its stars’ advancing years. However, the inclusion of more contemporary action stars like Jason Statham and Terry Crews went some way toward ensuring its longevity.
Stallone’s tease about Statham’s expanded Expendables 4 role is a promising sign that the franchise is looking to the future. The Expendables 3 introduced a younger team of action stars including Ronda Rousey and Glen Powell, but ultimately, audiences were still turning up to see Sylvester Stallone face off against Mel Gibson. That approach can only lead to diminishing returns for the franchise, so putting a younger star like Jason Statham at the center of The Expendables 4 sets up a promising future.
Although Jason Statham is still considerably older than the members of Expendables 3’s younger team, he represents a different era of the action movie. By casting both Wesley Snipes and Mel Gibson in the third movie, The Expendables action icons list was effectively completed. Statham can bring aboard a whole host of more contemporary action heroes, especially now that there’s a generation of action movie fans who are nostalgic for the heroes of the 90s and 00s.
Handing the franchise over to Jason Statham introduces the possibility of an appearance by Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson, Vin Diesel, or John Cena. He’s the perfect star to bring the franchise up to date, not least because he’s a bigger box office draw than Kellan Lutz or Ronda Rousey were for Expendables 3. If Statham inherited the franchise from Stallone, he could push the franchise in an exciting new direction, much like Michael B Jordan did with Stallone’s Rocky franchise. While Statham is much less experienced when it comes to being a producer and a screenwriter, he’s still a big box office draw.
The Expendables 3 failed to broaden the franchise’s appeal with its younger team, but the fourth movie appears to be building on those same failures. As well as giving Jason Statham an increased role, Expendables 4 has also cast Megan Fox and Curtis “50 Cent” Jackson in key roles. Both Megan Fox and 50 Cent aren’t exactly action movie icons, but they’re more recognizable stars than Kellan Lutz, for example. Excitingly, the movie is also set to star Tony Jaa and Uwo Ikwais, from the Ong-Bak and The Raid movies respectively.
Forty years on, action cinema has advanced considerably since the 1980s heyday of Stallone and Schwarzenegger, and it looks as if Expendables 4 will reflect this. Some of the most exciting action movies in recent years have come from outside the US, and the inclusion of Thailand’s Tony Jaa and Indonesia’s Uwo Ikwais is another promising step in the right direction for the franchise. While the original Expendables movies may have traded off the nostalgic hit of seeing old action stars team up or face off, The Expendables 4 can become a truly exciting combination of the best stars that modern action movies have to offer.