Sylvester Stallone Leaves The Expendables Franchise

Depending on how you feel about the movies, news that there is trouble for the future of the Expendables franchise is either blessed relief or a shut to the gut. Deadline reports that Sylvester Stallone has walked away from the in-development fourth film.

The cause? Apparently he and producer/Nu Image/Millennium boss Avi Lerner are disagreeing on some key issues, including a director, elements of the script and even where to source the CG effects. While nothing is set in stone, Stallone is apparently worried about diminishing returns from the franchise and despite his close connection with it, he’s decided to step away.

Yet there is still hope for the future, as Lerner commented to Deadline. “We’ve got disagreements with Sly, but we’ve had them for over a year and a half,” he says. “Right now, each one has an opinion. We agreed on 95% 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.”

If Stallone doesn’t come back, there’s every chance Lerner could round up the rest of the tough nut cast (which usually includes the likes of Jason Statham, Dolph Lundgren and Terry Crews) and get the fourth one to screens. But with shooting dates already skipped and no official release date on the books, the loss of its leading man and driving force could well spell the end.