The Expendables (2010) Poster


When Barney Ross and Lee Christmas arrive at the island, they hand their passports to the officer. Both passports list the actual birthdays of Sylvester Stallone and Jason Statham.
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Sylvester Stallone sustained fourteen injuries making this movie, including breaking a tooth, rupturing his ankle, and getting a hairline fracture in his neck that required the surgical insertion of a metal plate. He also had bronchitis and shingles during the shoot.
Mickey Rourke said he did this film as a favor to Sylvester Stallone, who years earlier, when Rourke was in a career slump, offered him a major role in Get Carter (2000) and helped to pay part of Rourke's salary himself.
In the audio commentary Sylvester Stallone reveals that in the final battle, Steve Austin almost lost his leg, due to an explosion that went off next to his foot. What saved him was the bag he was holding took the bulk of the blast. The bag acted as a shield when the explosion happened. (You can see this happen at the 1:24:05 mark in the movie.)
Sylvester Stallone states on the commentary that Church's line, "You guys aren't gonna start sucking each other's dicks are ya," was ad-libbed by Bruce Willis. He at first had reservations about the line but decided keep it in the movie.
Wesley Snipes was offered the role of Hale Caesar but couldn't accept because, due to his tax problems, he wasn't allowed to leave the United States without the court's approval. The role was taken by Forest Whitaker and rewritten for Whitaker, but he was forced to leave the film due to a scheduling conflict. The role was then offered to rapper 50 Cent who turned the role down to focus on his music career. After a few days, Sylvester Stallone decided to cast former NFL player Terry Crews in the part. In 2014 (after finishing his prison sentence), Snipes ended up appearing in "The Expendables 3".
This is the first time that Sylvester Stallone, Arnold Schwarzenegger, and Bruce Willis have appeared in a film together, in any combination. The three action mega-stars are long-time friends, even working together (with Willis' ex-wife Demi Moore) as original venture capitalists and promoters for the "Planet Hollywood" restaurant and casino chain.
This film marks Arnold Schwarzenegger's first film in six years. He last appeared in Disney's Around the World in 80 Days (2004). Schwarzenegger did his cameo for free.
Mickey Rourke split filming his scenes with his appearance in Iron Man 2 (2010). He was only available for 48 hours.
In the Church scene, Arnold Schwarzenegger's character says that Mr. Church should give the job to Ross (Sylvester Stallone) because he "loves running through the jungle", an obvious reference to the Rambo franchise.
Sylvester Stallone's character is named after Barney Ross, a world welterweight boxing champion who joined the United States Marines and was awarded the Silver Star and Purple Heart for his actions at Guadalcanal.
This could have been Brittany Murphy's final film. However Sylvester Stallone cut her character from the script before anything was filmed.
Plans for a sequel were already planned 7 months before the debut in the theaters.
Jean-Claude Van Damme was offered a role, but he turned it down claiming that there was no substance in the character. Rumor has it that Dolph Lundgren replaced him but actually the part of Scandinavian Gunnar Jensen was written by Sylvester Stallone with Lundgren in mind. Van Damme appears in The Expendables 2 (2012).
The opening sequence with the attack on the pirates was shot on a real Russian freighter. While authentic, this proved to be a very difficult experience due to cramped conditions and overbearing heat.
The first Sylvester Stallone film, that he starred in, since Rocky IV (1985) (also with Dolph Lundgren) to gross 100 million dollars in the U.S.
This is the first film that Sylvester Stallone has directed since Staying Alive (1983) that doesn't involve his characters John Rambo or Rocky Balboa.
In Germany both Sylvester Stallone and Arnold Schwarzenegger share the same voice actor (Thomas Danneberg). This, the first movie with both stars on screen, required Danneberg to do the voices for both actors. While keeping Stallone's voice raspy and low, Schwarzenegger's was dubbed lighter, but it's the same voice.
The role of Mr. Church, the man who hires the Expendables, was very difficult to cast. It was initially offered to Arnold Schwarzenegger, who declined in favor of a smaller cameo due to his political career. The role was then offered to Kurt Russell, who declined as he was not interested in "ensemble acting at the moment." Sylvester Stallone spent several months after principal photography determined to find a big action name for the part. The role was finally taken by Stallone's friend and fellow former "Planet Hollywood" co-owner Bruce Willis, who was busy filming Cop Out (2010) at the time.
Jason Statham liked the motorcycle he rode in the film so much, he bought one in real life.
According to Sylvester Stallone, the Red Beret soldiers are actual Antonio Rogerio Nogueira and Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira, both Brazilian MMA fighters who volunteered to play the role.
West Coast Customs Street Customs have built 3 customized 1955 Ford F100s for the film. One was built for a crash scene, the second for green-screen, and the third for Stallone to keep.
According to Sylvester Stallone, the villain and plot of the film is based on Manuel Noriega, the former military dictator of Panama who had a corrupt relationship with the CIA and drugs.
Around 250 effects shots were originally planned for the film, but due to script rewrites and problems with location shooting, nearly 1200 were used in the final cut.
The initial budget for the film was 60 million dollars, but increased to 70-80 million dollars.
The motorcycle that Jason Statham's character Lee Christmas is riding is the Italian made street legal MotoGP race inspired Ducati Desmosedici RR. This sport-bike carries a price tag of $75,000 has a top speed of +190 mph (305 km/h). This 989cc 4 cylinder produces 200hp while only weighing 377 pounds (171 kg). Of the only 1,500 made 500 made it to the U.S. and they all sold out within five hours. Tom Cruise was the lucky recipient to receive the first one imported to the U.S.
Producer Avi Lerner decided to cut the film down to two versions, a PG-13-rated version and an R-rated version, both of which were screen tested, and the R-rated one was officially released. Lerner had considered cutting down the violence because of the success of recent PG-13 action films like Live Free or Die Hard (2007) and The Dark Knight (2008). Lerner has claimed that Sylvester Stallone's previous film Rambo (2008) could have been even more successful, had it not contained such extreme violence and gore.
Eric Roberts and David Zayas who play the villains in this movie, played the same Batman villian, Sal Maroni, in two different incarnations. Zayas played Maroni in the television series Gotham (2014), and Roberts played Maroni in the movie The Dark Knight (2008).
Bruce Willis' CIA character is called Mr. Church, ostensibly due to his choice of meeting place with Barney Ross and his rival mercenary. However, this is also an in-joke on Senator Frank Church who held the Church Committee hearings into illicit CIA operations during the 1970s.
Gunnar Jensen (Dolph Lundgren) comments to Paine (Steve Austin), "Need a face lift pretty boy?", a tongue in cheek reference to Austin's early wrestling career where Steve Austin went by the name "Stunning" Steve Austin.
Ben Kingsley, Robert De Niro and Al Pacino were considered for the role of Munroe.
On October 24th, 2009, Sylvester Stallone was joined on screen for the first time ever, with Arnold Schwarzenegger and Bruce Willis. The scene, which took six hours to film, sets up the plot of the film.
This is the third film that Jason Statham and Jet Li have starred in together. They previously starred in The One (2001) and War (2007).
Jason Statham starred in Death Race (2008), a remake of Death Race 2000 (1975) which featured a young Sylvester Stallone in one of his first starring roles.
Steven Seagal was asked to play a cameo but turned it down due to negative connections with producer Avi Lerner.
The folding knife Tool throws at the target when he and Christmas first compete is a Cold Steel Espada.
Dolph Lundgren described the film as "an old-school, kick-ass action movie where people are fighting with knives and shooting at each other."
Steve Austin and Terry Crews previously appeared in the The Longest Yard (2005).
Ray Liotta was considered for the role of James Munroe.
When Christmas introduces himself and Ross to Sandra, he tells his name is "Buda" (pronounced similar to "Buddha") and shows Ross as "Pest". Together these names compose "Budapest", the capital of Hungary, EU, which is divided in 2 parts (Buda on the west, Pest on the east) by its river Danube. Beside the joke, it's a reference/tribute to the city where Sylvester Stallone worked back in 1980, shooting Victory (1981).
The silver badge on General Garza's right breast is actually a United States Army Combat Action Badge. It is awarded to non-infantry soldiers who have actually engaged an enemy force in combat, and worn on the left breast. Since it would be nearly impossible for a foreign general to earn a CAB legitimately, the costume department most likely simply picked out a random military badge.
Terry Crews' first major movie was The 6th Day (2000) also starring alongside Arnold Schwarzenegger.
Jet Li and Dolph Lundgren have a fight scene in an abandoned warehouse. Li previously had a fight scene in a similar setting in Born to Defense (1986) with Kurt Roland Petersson, a fellow Swedish Karate teammate and personal friend of Lundgren.
Originally, Jet Li's character's name was listed as Kong Kao.
The flying boat used for filming is a Grumman HU-16 Albatross.
Due to time constraints, Sylvester Stallone didn't actually get to listen to Brian Tyler's score until the film was completed.
This started life as a spec script by writer Dave Callaham, which he pitched to Warner Brothers. It came to the attention of Sylvester Stallone, who commandeered it.
David Zayas (General Garza) and Eric Roberts (James Monroe) have both played Sal Moroni. Zayas in Gotham (2014), and Roberts in The Dark Knight (2008).
Sandra Bullock was rumored to have a role in the film, but revealed that she did not even know about the project. Despite the news, she did express interest in working in The Expendables 2 (2012), depending on the storyline.
Sylvester Stallone and Eric Roberts previously starred in The Specialist (1994) together. They played adversaries in that film as well.
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Sylvester Stallone's character Barney Ross has a tattoo of a raven on his back. In the film First Blood, Stallone's character John Rambo's radio code name is Raven.
The insignia worn by the soldiers on the left shoulder of their uniform is of the First Signal Brigade of the United States Army, one of the units that was in Vietnam, and which is still an active duty unit, currently stationed in South Korea.
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The movie reunites three pairs of former co-stars, Sylvester Stallone and Dolph Lundgren from Rocky IV (1985), Mickey Rourke and Eric Roberts from The Pope of Greenwich Village (1984), and Jason Statham and Jet Li from The One (2001), and War (2007).
Terry Crews is cast alongside Rocky IV (1985) actors, Sylvester Stallone (Rocky Balboa) and Dolph Lundgren (Ivan Drago). In the sitcom Everybody Hates Chris (2005), Crews played Chris' father, Julius, who is a fan of the Rocky (1976) movie franchise.
Jeffrey L. Kimball was also Director of Photography on The Specialist (1994), but this is the first time he has worked with Stallone as a director.
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This is the first time Slyvester Stallone directed the first of his series rather than the sequels. He directed Rocky II (1979), Rocky III (1982), Rocky IV (1985), Rocky Balboa (2006) and Rambo (2006). Staying Alive (1983) is also a sequel to Saturday Night Fever (1977) which Stallone directed, but only had an uncredited cameo, so this is the first time he didn't direct a sequel at all since his directorial debut Paradise Alley (1978).
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Scott Adkins was offered the role of Dan Paine.
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In Rambo: First Blood Part II, while on the boat journey across the river, Rambo calls himself "expendable" while talking to the woman with him.
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Rumored to be the first installment of a trilogy of "Expendables" movies.
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American distributor Lionsgate had Gunnar Jensen's first name changed to 'Gunner'. The screenplays for the sequels kept referring to him under the original spelling 'Gunnar'.
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In the film you can see that Stallone might have had some plastic surgery. Look close at his right eyebrow arch then compare it to his film Assassins. In the latter film is more pronounced.
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Bruce Willis, Arnold Schwarzenegger: They appear at the church.
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The trivia items below may give away important plot points.

Body Count: 188.
Ross (Sylvester Stallone) quips that Trench (Arnold Schwarzenegger) wants to be President - a tongue-in-cheek reference to real-life California governor Schwarzenegger's political ambitions.
Gunnar Jensen was killed in the first draft, but this was changed so he could be brought back for The Expendables 2 (2012).
What Toll Road says to Gunnar at the very end of the movie ("Whenever it doesn't kill you, it makes you stronger, brother!") refers to the title of the 1989 CD by Bruce Willis.
At least four characters of the original script were cut out from the shooting draft:
  • Richard. Robert Knepper and Alan Tudyk were both approached for the role. Timing didn't work out for Knepper, while Tudyk was in between projects and didn't want to exhaust himself. The role was cut entirely while the movie was already being filmed.
  • Agent Lickson. The role was put into Sandra (Giselle Itié), who we will find out is working for INTERPOL when she starts her relationship with Ross, and has been helping the revolutionaries against Garza (David Zayas) get guns and medical attention.
  • Agent Will Sands. The role was intended to be very large in the first draft, was later cut down after the casting of Eric Roberts. Stallone was courting former Demolition Man (1993) co-star Denis Leary to appear, but his contract with Rescue Me (2004) got in the way. Sylvester Stallone also tried getting John Lurie, but he declined the role as well, so it was written out entirely.
  • Emmanuel. The role was going to be played by Danny Trejo but it was scrapped due to time and budget constraints. Trejo's fee, as well as the costs for some of the stunt work in that scene, would've put them over, so his role was combined with that of Tool (Mickey Rourke) as story purpose and Wickham (Gary Daniels) in terms of finding Sandra's hideaway.

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