Dolph Lundgren joins The Expendables

Sylvester Stallone‘s current writing/directing/acting project The Expendables is quickly shaping up to be one of the greatest action movies of all time. Indeed apart from Stallone, the film already stars Jason Statham (the Transporter movies) and Jet Li (The Mummy: Tomb Of The Dragon Emperor), and now Dolph Lundgren has joined the cast, reuniting with Stallone 23 years after their epic boxing match in Rocky IV.

The casting was announced by Stallone at the premiere of Transporter 3 in Las Vegas. Lundgren was actually Stallone’s second choice, but Jean-Claude Van Damme (who co-starred with Lundgren in Universal Soldier) turned down the offer, saying he wanted to take his career in another direction. Arnold Schwarzenegger (the Terminator films) has also been offered a part as has Forest Whitaker (Street Kings).

Set in South America, the film will follow a group of mercenaries that take dangerous jobs that no one else will as they attempt to overthrow a dictator and the opening scene reportedly features Statham’s character eliminating a Mexican drug lord while dressed as a homosexual. The Expendables should start filming early next year in Louisiana and Costa Rica for a 2010 release.

This will of course not be Stallone’s first stab at directing. The man has indeed plenty of experience behind the camera, having written or co-written most of his films and directed quite a few of them (including the last Rambo film and four of the Rocky movies). Stallone has talent there is no doubt, and a lot of people seem to forget that his screenplay for the first Rocky was Oscar-nominated.

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Who will direct the Conan reboot?

A new Conan The Barbarian movie has been in the works since what seems like forever. It was originally supposed to be King Conan: Crown Of Iron, a third movie starring Arnold Schwarzenegger, but then he became Governor of California and plans fell through. Since then, producers have the oh-so-trendy reboot in mind, and are planning to resurrect the fantasy franchise in 2010.

Now the question is, who will direct? The Wachowski siblings (Speed Racer), Brett Ratner (the Rush Hour trilogy), Robert Rodriguez (Grindhouse), Wachowski protégé James McTeigue (V For Vendetta), Neil Marshall (Doomsday), Juan Carlos Fresnadillo (28 Weeks Later), the Brothers Strause (Alien Vs Predator: Requiem) and duo Mark Neveldine & Brian Taylor (Crank) are reportedly all in the running. Who will it be? Who would you like it to be? Discuss!

Personally, I just hope they’ll set this movie in the same continuity as the forthcoming Red Sonja reboot produced by Rodriguez, starring girlfriend Rose McGowan (Grindhouse) and directed by protégé Douglas Aarniokoski (Highlander: Endgame). Conan, Red Sonja and Kull are all part of the same universe created by pulp writer Robert E. Howard.

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Movie Of The Day: The Rundown/Welcome To The Jungle (2003)

The Rundown, known internationally as Welcome To The Jungle, was former wrestler Dawyne Johnson’s (aka The Rock) second attempt at a leading role following The Scorpion King in 2002. The action/comedy was directed by Michael Mann protégé Peter Berg (Hancock) and co-written by R.J. Stewart (Xena: Warrior Princess) and James Vanderbilt (Zodiac). Rounding up the cast are Seann William Scott (American Pie‘s Steve Stifler), Rosario Dawson (Sin City) and Christopher Walken (Hairspray). 

Johnson stars as Beck, a “retrieval expert” on his last job, who’s sent to the Brasilian mining town El Dorado to find his Boss’ son Travis (Scott) and bring him back to the States. Once there however, he runs into trouble with the local “authorities”, headed by evil, greedy mine boss Hatcher (Walken) and has to deal with the annoying Travis, Indian rebels, a treasure hunt and monkeys…don’t forget the monkeys. Trailer and review after the jump.

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Schwarzenegger’s face won’t appear in new Terminator movie. Voice still a possibility.

Everyone pretty much agrees that Terminator simply isn’t Terminator without Arnold Schwarzenegger. The current Governor of California has expressed interest and enthusiasm over the franchise’s fourth installment, and has even been open to the possibility of making a small appearance in the film. Turns out he won’t, but his voice might. Terminator producer Moritz Borman told Wired.com:

“I’m not going to answer the question about what we’re trying, or what we want, or what we’re toying with. It’s really up to what fits in the film or not. Maybe his voice, or maybe not.  It’s really not settled.”

In other words, expect robots to say “I’ll be back” throughout the movie. Still, it’s better than nothing. Terminator Salvation has been filming in New Mexico under the direction of McG (the Charlie’s Angels movies) and is due for release on May 22nd, 2009 in the USA, South Korea and Iceland. In an effort to reinvigorate the formula, it will be the first Terminator film set entirely in the future and will initiate a story arc that will continue in two further installments.

The film stars Christian Bale (The Dark Knight), Anton Yelchin (J.J. Abrams’ Star Trek), Sam Worthington (Rogue), Moon Bloodgood (Pathfinder), rapper Common (Wanted), Bryce Dallas Howard (Spider-Man 3) and Helena Bonham Carter (Sweeney Todd) and was written by John D. Brancato & Michael Ferris (Terminator 3) with David C. Wilson (Supernova) and polished by Paul Haggis (Casino Royale), Jonathan Nolan (The Dark Knight) and Shawn Ryan (FX’s The Shield). McG has cited 2006 apocalyptic masterpiece Children Of Men and the novel The Road as influences

Hey, here’s an idea! Why not get Robert Patrick to reprise his T-1000 character? Not in this movie, but in one of the next ones. They could show Skynet creating him or something, that’d be pretty neat wouldn’t it?

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