In its neverending quest to find bankable action heroes, Hollywood has found an unlikely group of champions: Sylvester Stallone, Jean-Claude Van Damme, and Dolph Lundgren.
Yes, it's still 2017. Yes, that's déjà vu you're feeling.
It seems the sun hasn't quite set on this trio of veteran action stars, who have been churning out punch-em-out classics since your old man first started lifting weights. Following the success of Creed, which earned him an Oscar nod, Stallone will star and direct the military drama Tough as They Come, according to Deadline. The film will tell the incredible true story of United States Army Staff Sergeant Travis Mills, whose book of the same name details how he survived a quadruple amputation after serving in Iraq and Afghanistan.
The ass-kicking duo of Van Damme and Lundgren will star together in the CIA action thriller Black Water, per The Hollywood Reporter, which follows a deep cover agent ( an Damme) who ends up in a government black site on a submarine and must find a way out.
But that’s not all.
After years of rumors, Stallone has essentially confirmed that Expendables 4 is moving forward, and he's hinted that Lundgren could come along for the ride. Some of the rights have already been sold across Europe, while Stallone spoke about the film on a Facebook video, saying that he’s about to start training for the “next Expendables" movie. "We’re going to do our best, but we’ve got some really great attitudes going. We got great ideas. I think everyone’s expecting something different, and we’re going to give it to them.”
The “different” part might be going back to an ‘R’ rating after the third installment went to PG-13 and made less money than the second film. Stallone didn’t mention any cast members for the film, but it’s likely that Lundgren will reprise his role as Gunner Jensen after appearing in the first three films, although Van Damme’s appearance could be trickier.
Van Damme’s villain Jean Vilain (yes, very creative name, but also one of the 25 most physically dominating villains of all time) was killed in The Expendables 2, but the kickboxing legend has some ideas on how he could re-appear in the series. Speaking to Empire back in 2014, Van Damme said: "Mr. Stallone is an inventive man. He may even create a stronger character than Claude Vilain, the twin brother of Jean Vilain. Some fans ask me if the next Vilain—if there is a next—is going to be a good guy or a bad guy. I would leave it to Mr. Stallone to decide, as I trust his way of imagination."
Either way, it looks like the Expendables crew is gearing up again. Dolph Lundgren vs. JCVD vs. Sly, no VHS tapes necessary? Hell freaking yes.