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.

Sources: here and here

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“We’re baaaack.”, also other site announcements

Obvious update: Well I obviosly spoke too soon concerning the return of the site. But we ARE back now.

Finally! After two weeks of inactivity, computer troubles are finally over and updates will resume (The problems apparently came from the motherboard). I will not cover the extensive back catalogue of film news that has accumulated since I went offline, but here are some of the most interesting tidbits (at least in my opinion):

  • Sylvester Stallone (Rambo), Jason Statham (Death Race) and Jet Li (The Mummy: Tomb Of The Dragon Emperor) will co-star in The Expendables, an action movie set in South America which will be written and directed by Stallone himself. Stallone has of course plenty of experience in the field 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).
  • Joe Johnston, director of such films as Hidalgo, Jurassic Park III and October Sky will direct The First Avenger: Captain America, another of the cross-over comic book films Marvel Studios is making in the lead up to The Avengers (others include Iron Man, The Incredible Hulk, Thor and Iron Man 2). You know what I’d love? That they manage to include a crossover with the X-Men franchise, seeing as both this and the forthcoming X-Men Origins: Magneto will be set during World War II.
  • Acclaimed British director Ridley Scott (Body Of Lies) will direct an adaptation of the popular board game Monopoly.
  • Will Smith’s son Jaden, already seen in The Pursuit Of Happyness with his father, will play the lead in a remake of The Karate Kid.
  • Speaking of Will Smith, he’ll star in a remake of the South Korean cult film Oldboy which will be directed by Steven Spielberg (you know, the Indiana Jones films)
  • Lethal Weapon 5 isn’t completely dead after all and may happen eventually, according to series producer Joel Silver.
  • And of course, there’s the very sad news that bestselling author Michael Crichton died of cancer at age 66 on November 4th. Crichton’s novels have inspired films such as Jurassic Park, The 13th Warrior, Sphere, Congo, The Andromeda Strain, Timeline and many others. In addition he created the long-running medical show ER, wrote a few original screenplays such as Twister and even did a bit of directing with films like Westworld, Coma, The First Great Train Robbery and a few others.

As for the site, I’m happy to report that the hiatus did nothing to slow viewership, in fact these past three days have been our busiest ever with slightly less than two thousand visits per day on average. However, The Movie Planet will have a slight change in focus. Seeing as how this is for now a one-man operation and that I do lead a rather busy life, I will only give proper news posts to items which particularly interest me and cover the rest of the daily film news in a round-up sort of way. Thus I hope I’ll be able to write more articles in the vein of the one I penned about Babylon A.D., and you can expect such writings on the subject of Quantum Of Solace, The Happening and the High School Musical franchise soon (I hope to have my Quantum Of Solace “review” later today, but you can already see my score of the film on the What We’ve Been Watching page).

Finally, you can now contact The Movie Planet at themovieplanetblog@gmail.com, how cool is that?