The original Judge Dredd, Sylvester Stallone, just announced the spin-off of The Expendables, a movie-action franchise that rounded up most of the 80s and 90s action starts in a singular cinematic setting. After years of back-and-forth discussions about possible sequels to the three-part movie franchise, fans of the classic action movie genre are finally getting another over-the-top cinematic experience in The Expendables franchise.
The news of the spin-off comes directly from Sylvester Stallone’s favorite promotional tool – his Instagram account. His latest Instagram post includes a picture of a hyper-realistic tattoo of his Expendables character, Barney Ross, on someone’s arm. Stallone dropped the news in the image caption, stating that he’s heading off to shoot a spin-off of The Expendables in October, revealing the project working title as Christmas Story.
Despite sounding like a family holiday-themed movie, Christmas Story hints towards the franchise’s Lee Christmas character and one of the Expendables – portrayed by the legendary action and martial arts actor Jason Statham, who has one of his most insane movies available of streaming. Statham’s Lee Christmas appeared in all three The Expendables movies so far, as a best friend and comrade of the leader of ex-military mercenaries, Sylvester Stallone’s Barney Ross.
A Lee Christmas spin-off of The Expendables has been reported before but not officially confirmed, so Sylvester Stallone’s Instagram post confirms a spin-off is in the works. However, other reports suggest that the fourth installment in The Expendables franchise should start filming this fall, raising questions about the direction in which the franchise is going. Is it possible that the spin-off and The Expendables are filming simultaneously? Or is Christmas Story actually a codename for The Expendables 4? Time will tell.
In the meantime, Sylvester Stallone has kept himself busy with numerous projects since The Expendables 3, including cinematic releases such as 2017’s Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2, 2019’s Rambo: Last Blood, and 2021’s The Suicide Squad, which happens to contain an interesting gaming reference. In addition, he recently entered the superhero genre in the upcoming Samaritan set to release in 2022. Still, with this announcement, it would seem that he’ll be back in The Expendables very soon. Considering that seven years have passed since the release of The Expendables 3, we’d say it’s about time.
So far, The Expendables franchise, written by Sylvester Stallone, was regarded as a nostalgic nod to the action movies from the 80s and 90s era, which included a long string of action movie stars, including Stallone, Statham, Jet Li, JC Van Damme, Bruce Willis, Arnold Schwarzenegger, and many, many others. The first movie, directed by Sylvester Stallone himself, was a massive success, earning an impressive $274 million at the global box office on an $82 million budget. The following films pulled a cumulative of $530 million during their run, so it’s not really surprising that Lionsgate, the franchise owner, is looking to expand it by adding a fourth installment and a possible spin-off.