Sylvester Stallone is departing The Expendables, the action movie franchise he helped create, according to a representative for Stallone.
Stallone stars as Barney Ross, team leader to a group of mercenaries, in the testosterone-fueled franchise that has featured such heavy-hitters as Arnold Schwarzenegger, Mel Gibson, Harrison Ford, Jason Statham, Dolph Lundgren, Terry Crews, Jet Li, and more muscled stars. Stallone directed the first film in the series, co-writing the screenplay with creator Dave Callaham, and has co-written every script since.
Plans for a fourth film in the blockbuster series have been underway since The Expendables 3 was released in 2014, earning more than $214 million worldwide. But Stallone and Avi Lerner, Nu Image and Millennium Films chief, have been unable to agree on certain elements for the fourth film, including a director, according to Deadline, which first reported Stallone’s exit.
Lerner told Deadline, “We’ve got disagreements with Sly, but we’ve had them for over a year and a half. Right now, each one has an opinion. We agreed on 95 percent of things, but there are certain things in production we don’t agree on. I don’t think it’s over, but write whatever you want. In my opinion, it’s not dead.”
Stallone previously teased The Expendables 4 during a Facebook Live chat back in December. “We’re going to do our best, but I think we’ve got some really great attitude going,” the actor said. “We’ve got great ideas. I think everyone is expecting something different, and we’re going to give it to them.”