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fantasy casting

Ten Action Stars Who Should Be in The Expendables 3

The Expendables 2 comes out this Friday, and though Sylvester Stallone has found room in it for more action stars both vintage (Jean-Claude Van Damme, Chuck Norris) and new (Liam Hemsworth), producers are already looking ahead to the next film, for which they're wooing names like Nicolas Cage, Clint Eastwood, and Harrison Ford. Dream big, guys! But in case those stars don't pan out, we've taken the liberty of suggesting ten more actors who'd be perfect for The Expendables 3. And yes, one of them is a lady.

Steven Seagal
Why:
This bone-breaking action star used to be a big-screen brand name in movies like Under Siege, and though Seagal's now been reduced to the far reaches of cable TV, he's definitely open to a wink-wink supporting performance that trades on his former fame.
Suggested story line:
Producer Avi Lerner has reportedly been wooing Seagal for a while now, but when asked about the third Expendables movie, he recently said, "I'm not sure about Steven Seagal. We'll see." Pay him what he wants, dress him in a primo suede jacket, have him fight on the behalf of oppressed and sexy Native American love interests, and call his character "Dreamcatcher." Done.

Chow Yun Fat
Why: The last time Chow Yun Fat was seen in an English language film, it was 2009's Dragonball: Evolution. Don't you think the star of A Better Tomorrow, The Killer, and Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon deserves a higher-caliber American action movie?
Suggested story line: Chow could come at Jason Statham with twin guns blazing, but his real secret weapon would be a surprise rush of white doves on loan from John Woo. Though the flock would briefly incapacitate Statham, he'd then grab a dove and stab Chow in the neck with its beak, because that's how Statham rolls.

Linda Hamilton
Why: Because the third Expendables movie could use a kick-ass heroine, and there are few more iconic than Hamilton, who transformed her meek Sarah Connor character from the first Terminator movie into a fearsome, muscled warrior who could cock a shotgun with one arm in T2.
Suggested story line: Why not pair her romantically with Arnold Schwarzenegger, her old Terminator enemy turned ally? It would be so wrong ... but so right. ("Come with me if you want to kiss.")

The Rock
Why: From The Fast and the Furious to G.I. Joe to the Journey series, Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson has a habit of joining big franchises in midstream. Doesn't it seem like a matter of time, then, before he's rubbing elbows at the craft services table (catered by GNC) with the rest of the Expendables crew?
Suggested story line: In an homage to Stallone's Over the Top, the Rock and Sly would battle each other to a draw that could only be settled by matching up their comically oversize biceps for a bout of arm wrestling.

Carl Weathers
Why: This ex-football star has already co-starred with Sylvester Stallone and Dolph Lundgren in the Rocky movies and played partner to Arnold Schwarzenegger in Predator. They oughta throw him a bone already!
Suggested story line: After playing himself so ably on Arrested Development, Weathers could reprise the role here. Would it be a little confusing? Yes, but as long as you're breaking things in The Expendables, why not the fourth wall?

Jean Reno
Why: The suave star of The Professional, Mission: Impossible, and Ronin could add some additional international flavor to the ensemble.
Suggested story line: Since forebeared is forewarned, we'd have Reno (in Coke-bottle sunglasses, natch) mentor the son of his Professional co-star Natalie Portman. Yes, Aleph is only 1 year old, but surely that's not too young to teach him how to take apart and reassemble a rifle, right? What, he should wait until preschool to learn that?

Kurt Russell
Why: Tango & Cash reunion! Russell's got plenty of genre cred (which he put to good use most recently in Death Proof), and casting him would capitalize on all the goodwill engendered by Escape From New York, Big Trouble in Little China, The Thing, and obviously Overboard.
Suggested story line: Russell's got the gravitas to make a good baddie, so pit him against Stallone, have him lose an eye in the middle of act two, and then have him reappear for the final fight with an eyepatch on. (Just don't tell the Escape From New York rights-holders.)

Jeff Speakman
Why: Because this international Kenpo star is the perfect weapon!
Suggested story line: Who better for Speakman to go palm-to-palm with than Jet Li? They can play twins, of course.

Burt Reynolds
Why: Who could be manlier than this Deliverance star? Sure, Burt's a little long in the tooth at age 76, but he looks ... let's just say, "rejuvenated" ... in a way that resembles several of the older Expendables cast members. He'd fit right in!
Suggested story line: Pit Reynolds against a bear that he dispatches via bow and arrow and then skins, all the better to re-create his infamous nude Cosmo spread.

Mr. T
Why: If Arnold Schwarzenegger can recycle all of his eighties catchphrases for the Expendables franchise, it's time to double down and give Mr. T the chance to pity some fools.
Suggested story line: Mr. T's character has a bad head cold, and though he tries to deliver the line "I pity the fool" in several scenes, he cannot complete the sentence before sneezing, which leaves the audience in a state of constant anticipation. He is killed before he can ever finish it.