C'mon Hollywood: Make The Tomb happen!
The hot news this week is that action movie Gods Sylvester Stallone and Arnold Schwarzenegger may finally be teaming up in an action film- THE TOMB, which has been a hot project both have circled for months. Originally, another action icon, Bruce Willis was set to play the lead under Antoine Fuquaís direction, but he moved on, and for a while Arnie was attached to play the lead, Ray Breslin, a prison designer who finds himself framed and imprisoned in his own facility. Yeah, I know- sounds exactly like PRISON BREAK. Whatever.
Arnie eventually opted to do THE LAST STAND (a project Iím really excited for as it teams him with I SAW THE DEVIL helmer Jee-woon Kim). If you canít get Arnie, whoís the obvious second choice? You got it- Sly baby! Stalloneís now signed to play the hero, but apparently heís also trying to get Arnie on-board. Whether he would play the baddie, or another hero is unknown. Pairing up these two icons would be a dream come true for old-school action fans such as myself. I grew up watching these guys, and while it was fun to see them together briefly in THE EXPENDABLES, it was just a tiny part for Arnie, who at that time was still governor of California. Heís also in the sequel, but again, I suspect itís a smallish part.
I donít think Iím busting anyoneís bubble when I say that if indeed Sly & Arnie are serious about teaming up, it needs to happen NOW. Arnieís 64, and Slyís 65. I canít really say whether Arnieís still in shape or not, but considering his age and the fact that he spent the last eight years as the Governor of California, I somehow doubt heís still the muscle-bound Arnold we remember. Sly on the other hand is just as jacked as heís ever been. A team-up could work, although the script has to address the age-issue, as they canít really spend the film running around like itís still the eighties without coming off the wrong way.
Itís also worth noting that at this point, Slyís already proven his renewed bank-ability, while Arnold has not. It doesnít help that Arnie had a bad year of PR, with his affair, and upcoming divorce from Maria Shriver. Whether or not this will affect his comeback remains to be seen. Frankly, I couldnít care less about his affair. Arnieís not a saint, and he never pretended to be one. After all, he was a Republican politician. Compared to some of the other politicos in his part, heís probably a boy scout. Still, bad PR is bad PR. Another icon, Mel Gibson has had a fully wrapped action flick, HOW I SPENT MY SUMMER VACATION wrapped for more than a year, but no one will touch it. That said, Arnieís image is probably still a lot healthier than Melís.
Still, itís probably reasonable to assume that Slyís going to be the lead, and Arnieís going to be either the bad guy, or second lead. This is OK, I guess- but I just hope THE TOMB is the right project. With the right material, a team-up of these two icons could be really powerful. For evidence, look all the way back to 1962, when Sam Peckinpah made RIDE THE HIGH COUNTRY with two older icons, Joel McCrea and Randolph Scott, both of whom were around the ages Arnie & Sly are now. The film is a masterpiece, mainly because it plays on the iconic image both men established, and plays on the pathos of what happens to the aged warrior once his best days are behind him. Now, THE TOMB doesnít have to be as elegiac as RIDE THE HIGH COUNTRY, but it would be nice if something acknowledging the fact that both men are indeed past their prime was put in.
If THE TOMB doesnít happen, I suspect THE EXPENDABLES 2 is going to be the closest we get to an Arnie/Sly teamup, but really, there's no reason for it not to happen at this point- even if the window on both icons is rapidly closing. Hopefully it'll work out, and more importantly, will be worth the wait.