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The List: Not ready for ‘The Expendables’

- The Washington Times - Wednesday, August 18, 2010

This week we list those action heroes whom Sylvester Stallone found expendable for his box-office hit movie "The Expendables." The macho action film, which took in more than $35 million last weekend, brings together a number of noted action stars of the past, including Jet Li, Jason Statham, Bruce Willis, Mickey Rourke, Arnold Schwarzenegger and Dolph Lundgren. However, a number of classic tough-guy and tough-gal characters were ignored for Mr. Stallone's project, which may have a sequel in the works. Whom did Sly abandon, and possibly why?

  • Wesley Snipes — "The Blade" star has been spending too much time in a jujitsu fight with the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 11th Circuit over a 36-month prison sentence for not paying his taxes.
  • Uma Thurman — She was great in the "Kill Bill" movies but might not boast enough tattoos for a role in this new action romp.
  • O.J. Simpson — The "Naked Gun" star would be ideal for the Stallone bloodfest, which involves lots of blood, knives and guns. But O.J. was just not available. He's taken a break from finding the real killers of ex-wife Nicole Brown Simpson and her friend Ronald Goldman and is spending some quiet time at Nevada's Lovelock Correctional Center on an armed-robbery charge.
  • Paul Hogan — When you need someone who can handle a big knife, why not call in the former "Crocodile Dundee" star? But like Snipes, Mr. Hogan has tax problems. The Australian Crime Commission is about to charge him with tax evasion and slap him with a $15 million tax bill. Meantime, the 70-year-old Mr. Hogan is hiding out in California and no doubt putting a shrimp on the barbie.
  • Jean-Claude Van Damme — The "Universal Soldier" and "Bloodsport" star turned down the offer to star in the movie because he didn't want to be beaten by Jet Li in a fight scene. But he's no wimp. The Belgian martial-arts fighter is scheduled to take on Thai 1996 Olympic boxing gold medalist Somluck Kamsing in October in Macau. At the prospect of being the first man older than 50 to fight professionally in Macau, Mr. Van Damme stated, "It's kind of dangerous, but life is short."
  • Sigourney Weaver — The badass heroine of the "Alien" series might have put Mr. Stallone's weapon-handling to shame.
  • Jackie Chan — Maybe Mr. Stallone, a longtime Republican supporter, wasn't too keen on Mr. Chan's recent comments about Hong Kong and Taiwan being "very chaotic due to their freedom" and suggesting the "Chinese need some kind of regulation and control." Gee, what kind of muscular mercenary would Mr. Chan make with all this cozy talk about communist China" All that aside, Mr. Chan is expected to be in the sequel.
  • Chuck Norris — Come on, we know the "Walker, Texas Ranger" star is much too tough for a Stallone movie. After all, Mr. Norris sleeps with a pillow under his gun. He has to use a stunt double when he does crying scenes. He doesn't need Twitter  he's already following you. Mr. Norris doesn't breathe, he holds air hostage. And did you know Mr. Norris has been to Mars? That's why there are no signs of life there. You get the picture.
  • Steven Segal — Why isn't the aikido black belt flexing a little muscle these days? Well, he was offered a part in "The Expendables" but turned it down because he doesn't like the film's producer, Avi Lerner, who has been pushing too many of Mr. Segal's films direct to DVD.
  • Harrison Ford  —The star of the "Indiana Jones" film series is starting to look a little haggard at 68. And (yikes), the Han Solo actor sports an earring since hooking up with Calista Flockhart. Not only that, he once stated that Mr. Stallone's buddy Arnold Schwarzenegger would be a mistake as governor of California. Don't upset Arnold when he has friends like Sly.
  • Mel Gibson — The star of "Lethal Weapon" and "Mad Max" is taking a needed break as he fights off domestic-violence allegations. After all, there's more testosterone-fueled anger in a Gibson phone call than in a fight scene between Mr. Stallone and Steve Austin.
  • Bruce Lee — The martial arts master, sadly, is still dead.
  • Pam Grier — The famous blaxploitation star of "Foxy Brown" and Quentin Tarantino's "Jackie Brown"? Maybe her comments around the film set would be a little too spicy for Arnold and Sly.

Compiled by John Haydon, an expert in tai cha (the art of making an English cup of tea)

Sources: Associated Press, numerous newspapers,,

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