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Fans lobby for John Woo to direct The Expendables 3

Sep. 17, 2012by: Alex Maidy

As THE EXPENDABLES 2 nears $300 million in worldwide gross, the talk turns to the inevitable sequel. We have all been hearing since before THE EXPENDABLES 2 hit theaters that a third film was coming. The question would be, who will direct it?

It seems likely that Simon West will come back for the final film in the EXPENDABLES trilogy, but one fan is lobbying hard for an action icon to take over the directing reins. ABKing, via fansite Expendables Premiere, has written a pretty convincing rationale for why none other than John HARD BOILED Woo should direct the next movie.

From ABKing's manifesto:People these days seem to underestimate what WOO can bring to the table -- I think EX3 needs to close out the series with a BANG and be different. Imagine Barney Ross throwing a canister of gasoline in the air and Trench shooting it only for an explosion to take out 20 of SEAGAL's goons....Or Jet Li and Jackie Chan fighting side by side trying to defeat Nic Cage's goons (right after Chan makes his entrance of course riding a bike into a warehouse mid air shooting a machine gun in slow motion). Maybe throw in some Maggie action to show the boys how it is done to try to one-up them....John Woo knows how to make all this look good on screen. See HARD BOILED if you don't believe me.

I gotta say, I would love to see that version of THE EXPENDABLES 3. I love FACE/OFF, HARD TARGET, and even BROKEN ARROW. They are fun and over the top and exactly what I envisioned THE EXPENDABLES to be all about. if they can truly rustle up those guys, it would be quite a way to end the series. Woo may even be able to bring John Travolta or Nic Cage as well. I don't know who this ABKing guy is, but his ideas intrigue me and I wish to subscribe to his newsletter.

Who do you think should helm THE EXPENDABLES 3?

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3:13PM on 09/18/2012
Has Jackie Chan ever fired a gun in his movies? Seems strange to me.
Has Jackie Chan ever fired a gun in his movies? Seems strange to me.
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+5
12:11AM on 09/18/2012

Bring on the doves!

I'm all for this idea.
I'm all for this idea.
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7:38PM on 09/17/2012

A third film isn't guaranteed.

The sequel is trailing the first film both domestically and overseas (in terms of performance at similar time range). Overall it will probably slightly edge out the first film internationally, but considering the increased budget, it's not really a smash hit. They'll probably do another one but whether they can afford to bring back Bruce and Arnie remains to be seen. I'm sure their paychecks had something to do with the higher budget on EX2.

Nicolas Cage would be fantastic as the bad guy,
The sequel is trailing the first film both domestically and overseas (in terms of performance at similar time range). Overall it will probably slightly edge out the first film internationally, but considering the increased budget, it's not really a smash hit. They'll probably do another one but whether they can afford to bring back Bruce and Arnie remains to be seen. I'm sure their paychecks had something to do with the higher budget on EX2.

Nicolas Cage would be fantastic as the bad guy, though.
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7:30PM on 09/17/2012

Nah. go with Joseph Zito

If they want to remains true to the '80s like Stallone keeps proclaiming, they should take Joseph Zito, director of such classics as Missing In Action, Delta Force One:Lost Patrol, Invasion U.S.A., Red Scorpion, and Friday The 13th The Final Chapter.. That's some great movies right there! :D
If they want to remains true to the '80s like Stallone keeps proclaiming, they should take Joseph Zito, director of such classics as Missing In Action, Delta Force One:Lost Patrol, Invasion U.S.A., Red Scorpion, and Friday The 13th The Final Chapter.. That's some great movies right there! :D
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6:21PM on 09/17/2012

cool

I could live with that, but I must say.. I'd much rather see a good throwback director like Paul Verhoven, or John McTiernan.. any of the 3 would be great.
I could live with that, but I must say.. I'd much rather see a good throwback director like Paul Verhoven, or John McTiernan.. any of the 3 would be great.
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4:59PM on 09/17/2012

Would be great

Woo in top form, aw hell, even Woo in cheesy form would turn this baby up to 11. I'm all for it.
Woo in top form, aw hell, even Woo in cheesy form would turn this baby up to 11. I'm all for it.
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+12
4:26PM on 09/17/2012

Can we start lobbying for Nic Cage to be the bad guy in it too?

Or is it just me that wants that?
Or is it just me that wants that?
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4:08PM on 09/17/2012
Instead of that, how bout that Asian Expendables spin-off, backed by a Hong Kong studio, starring Jet Li, Jackie Chan, Donnie Yen, Sammo Hung, Yuen Biao, Tony Jaa, Sonny Chiba, etc... And of course Chow Yun Fat
Instead of that, how bout that Asian Expendables spin-off, backed by a Hong Kong studio, starring Jet Li, Jackie Chan, Donnie Yen, Sammo Hung, Yuen Biao, Tony Jaa, Sonny Chiba, etc... And of course Chow Yun Fat
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3:34PM on 09/17/2012

Beneath Woo

No thanks. I'd rather see Mr. Woo remain in Hong Kong where he's treated like the cinematic god that he is, and is therefore granted free reign to insert weird things like heart and substance into his action films.

The Expendables is fun, easy, nostalgia. There's nothing wrong with that, but we don't need John Woo to direct it. It'd be like asking Marty Scorsese to direct Analyze This 3.
No thanks. I'd rather see Mr. Woo remain in Hong Kong where he's treated like the cinematic god that he is, and is therefore granted free reign to insert weird things like heart and substance into his action films.

The Expendables is fun, easy, nostalgia. There's nothing wrong with that, but we don't need John Woo to direct it. It'd be like asking Marty Scorsese to direct Analyze This 3.
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3:33PM on 09/17/2012

double post

whoops... I guess....
whoops... I guess....
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2:39PM on 09/17/2012

Hell YES!

It could definitely work and I really miss John Woo in the director's chair making hard-hitting balls-to-the-wall mayhem. Sadly I still haven't checked out Red Cliff but just the other day (like a strange premonition to this seeing this article) I stumbled upon an oldie but a goodie "Hero Sheds No Tears" which got me thinking about the Expendables and even though the Special FX were dated the action was STILL brutal. A must-see gem for all John Woo fans.

I know this isn't the column for it,
It could definitely work and I really miss John Woo in the director's chair making hard-hitting balls-to-the-wall mayhem. Sadly I still haven't checked out Red Cliff but just the other day (like a strange premonition to this seeing this article) I stumbled upon an oldie but a goodie "Hero Sheds No Tears" which got me thinking about the Expendables and even though the Special FX were dated the action was STILL brutal. A must-see gem for all John Woo fans.

I know this isn't the column for it, but I've been thinking how about a Face/Off between Woo and Bay?
categories could include:

Director Trademarks
Action Stars created/discovered
Most Awesome Stunts/Explosions
..and the other two I'm still figuring out. Anyways, just a thought
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2:22PM on 09/17/2012
Double Post
Double Post
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-17
1:45PM on 09/17/2012
OR they could do away with the West/Woo/generic action directors for once and actually hire a real film director. Could you imagine how cool an Expendables movie would be that WASN'T just entirely generic and mindless? Just a thought.
OR they could do away with the West/Woo/generic action directors for once and actually hire a real film director. Could you imagine how cool an Expendables movie would be that WASN'T just entirely generic and mindless? Just a thought.
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2:40PM on 09/17/2012
Iet me guess, your choice of a 'real' director would be someone like Barry Sonnefield, Danny Boyle or Justin Lin amirite? I'm sorry but I don't think the EX movies are supposed to be of Shakespearian quality.
Iet me guess, your choice of a 'real' director would be someone like Barry Sonnefield, Danny Boyle or Justin Lin amirite? I'm sorry but I don't think the EX movies are supposed to be of Shakespearian quality.
2:47PM on 09/17/2012
lmao so when I say a 'real film director' you automatically assume I'm referring to the director of Men in Black and Wild Wild West? Um...

And how exactly does Danny Boyle, an Oscar winning director, fit in with Barry Sonnenfeld/Justin Lin? And why do all you action junkies feel the need to justify why these Expendables movies are so mediocre? A movie with Stallone, Schwarzenegger, Bruce, Statham, JCVD, etc. should be fucking awesome, not just some mindless bullshit. Not to rant, but the
lmao so when I say a 'real film director' you automatically assume I'm referring to the director of Men in Black and Wild Wild West? Um...

And how exactly does Danny Boyle, an Oscar winning director, fit in with Barry Sonnenfeld/Justin Lin? And why do all you action junkies feel the need to justify why these Expendables movies are so mediocre? A movie with Stallone, Schwarzenegger, Bruce, Statham, JCVD, etc. should be fucking awesome, not just some mindless bullshit. Not to rant, but the whole "it's supposed to be bad" argument is THE stupidest thing I read on movie message boards, and for some reason I read it a LOT. Forgive me for wanting my action stars to do something crazy, like you know, make an actual decent movie.
3:31PM on 09/17/2012
Clearly, you've never seen a REAL John Woo film. Anyone who would refer to Woo as "generic" has clearly never been properly introduced.

Do yourself a favor. Watch THE KILLER and HARD BOILED. Then watch A BULLET IN THE HEAD (no, not the Stallone cheese fest coming up), and then A BETTER TOMORROW 1 and 2.

And then when your flat screen is ashes... you'll have my permission to speak.
Clearly, you've never seen a REAL John Woo film. Anyone who would refer to Woo as "generic" has clearly never been properly introduced.

Do yourself a favor. Watch THE KILLER and HARD BOILED. Then watch A BULLET IN THE HEAD (no, not the Stallone cheese fest coming up), and then A BETTER TOMORROW 1 and 2.

And then when your flat screen is ashes... you'll have my permission to speak.
4:22PM on 09/17/2012
Yeah I've seen Hard Boiled and The Killer. May I speak now?

Obviously his older stuff was incredible, but he hasn't made a worthwhile film in how long? And basically all of his big budget Hollywood action movies have been the epitome of generic, with the POSSIBLE exception of Face/Off, which ventures into so ridiculous its awesome territory. Don't get me wrong, Woo would be a huge step up from who they've gone with thus far, but there are tons and tons of great directors working today that
Yeah I've seen Hard Boiled and The Killer. May I speak now?

Obviously his older stuff was incredible, but he hasn't made a worthwhile film in how long? And basically all of his big budget Hollywood action movies have been the epitome of generic, with the POSSIBLE exception of Face/Off, which ventures into so ridiculous its awesome territory. Don't get me wrong, Woo would be a huge step up from who they've gone with thus far, but there are tons and tons of great directors working today that are actually in their prime and not 20 years past it who could probably make a pretty damn awesome Expendables movie if given the chance.
8:37AM on 09/18/2012
OK I wasnt going to jump on this but your last comment warrants an informed retort. You asked how long its been since Woo did anything of merit? Lets go all the way back to 2009 when he released the Red Cliff films, the biggest budget Chinese film ever that set an Asian box office record (beating Titanic) and kicked ass in international awards for acting, directing and visuals. Check it out. Then apologize.
OK I wasnt going to jump on this but your last comment warrants an informed retort. You asked how long its been since Woo did anything of merit? Lets go all the way back to 2009 when he released the Red Cliff films, the biggest budget Chinese film ever that set an Asian box office record (beating Titanic) and kicked ass in international awards for acting, directing and visuals. Check it out. Then apologize.
1:56PM on 09/19/2012
Now you're saying that Woo is "past his prime." Your original comment that I responded to was that he was "generic," which is an incorrect statement. However, you confuse a foreign director's struggle within the Hollywood system with a filmmaker losing his way. To judge Woo and his talent by his American films is like assessing a caged pigeon's (or dove) flying technique.

Hollywood has not been kind to Woo, just as it hasn't been to most foreign powerhouse directors who come abroad.
Now you're saying that Woo is "past his prime." Your original comment that I responded to was that he was "generic," which is an incorrect statement. However, you confuse a foreign director's struggle within the Hollywood system with a filmmaker losing his way. To judge Woo and his talent by his American films is like assessing a caged pigeon's (or dove) flying technique.

Hollywood has not been kind to Woo, just as it hasn't been to most foreign powerhouse directors who come abroad. Hollywood doesn't respect who they are and what unique gift they possess. The first thing they try to do upon their arrival is kill their individuality and make them fit their model. FACE/OFF was the only vision of Woo's to make it through the system. FACE/OFF is a powerhouse film. Yes, it has a ridiculous concept (would you have preferred the original draft, which took place in the future?), but the execution of the ludicrous concept is such a rich story with great characters and genuine emotion that it's mind-boggling how good the film is. It's the only American film of Woo's to possess the depth his action films often have.

When it was announced that Woo would be returning to Hong Kong, I couldn't have been happier. It's like Bruce Springsteen reuniting with the E Street Band, or if John Lennon reassembled the Beatles. There, he is regarded as the cinematic genius that he is, and is free to make the kinds of projects he's passionate about. The master is back in his domain. And I have to second violentbuddha's comment in pointing out Woo's wonderfully ambitious and incredibly successful 5-hour epic, RED CLIFF. A fine film that he's done recently.

Expendables has never possessed anything deeper than nostalgia for the days of old. There's nothing wrong with that, but it lacks any depth for a filmmaker like Woo to sink his teeth into. Which is my point listed above (with 14 dislikes) that Expendables 3 is beneath him. If they wanted to turn the third film into a serious WILD BUNCH type of film, then I'd be all for it, but if it's gonna be the same old George P. Cosmatos type of film, Woo has no business making it. There is more to Woo than his stand-out, awe-inspiring, beautiful and balletic action sequences.
1:42PM on 09/17/2012
I'd love to see Paul Verhoeven taking the helm (mind that, I think Simon West did good job). It would be brutal.

But, The Expendables 3, Woo-style? Not a bad choice, not at all.
I'd love to see Paul Verhoeven taking the helm (mind that, I think Simon West did good job). It would be brutal.

But, The Expendables 3, Woo-style? Not a bad choice, not at all.
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1:06PM on 09/17/2012
If Woo were to do it then Chow Yun-Fat would be a mandatory cast member.
If Woo were to do it then Chow Yun-Fat would be a mandatory cast member.
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