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« 148 Days Til Oscar Nominations! | Main | "David Niven: a Villanelle" »
Sunday
Aug192012

"Cast This!" Box Office Special: Female Expendables?

Sylvester Stallone and his team of aged action heroes ruled the box office with their high-octane throwback The Expendables 2. The title is perfect because it's the kind of disposable flick you can imagine people watching half-assed for years on end on cable while eating, cleaning, making phone calls, taking a sick day, you name it.

Top o' the Box Office *newbies in bold*
01 THE EXPENDABLES 2 $28.7 
02 THE BOURNE LEGACY $17 (cum $69.5)
03 PARANORMAN $14 
04 THE CAMPAIGN $11.8 (cum. $51.6)
05 SPARKLE $12 ...more on this one soon 
06 DARK KNIGHT RISES $12 (Cum. $409.9) Review
07 THE ODD LIFE OF TIMOTHY GREEN $10.9 

The Expendables franchise is weirdly sexist -- how can you have like a dozen action stars per movie (*stars* being a smudgey concept here once you're past the one name icons), many of them past their prime, and never include any of the women who've led or played a major hand in action hits in any decade? Yes, they exist! Word is out that the producers are planning on backing a female heavy edition of the franchise, a spin-off if you will. Why we're not allowed to have a co-ed Expendables I do not know. 

But let's help the producers out by casting it for them in the comments.
I'll start right here with six must-haves from Nathaniel's Crowded Actressexual Brain

 

  • Sigourney Weaver -- seriously, if she's not already at the tippity top of the "throw money at her" list, they're imbeciles.
  • Michelle Yeoh -- always riveting when she fights and a damn good actress, too.
  • Linda Hamilton - Duh! Even her name is tough.
  • Milla Jovovich - knows her away around an action scene and will get naked for your R rating
  • Daryl Hannah - because she's an awesomely imposing amazon (think Blade Runner and Kill Bill) and doesn't get nearly enough work 
  • Pam Grier - because think of the fun they could have referencing her fame-making work. Razors in an afro please! 

Once I got started I couldn't stop. I literally thought of 22 more actresses who would be perfect while collecting these photos -- like give me a scene of Run Franka Potente Run. Even if it's just a cameo! -- including recent action divas like Léa Seydoux (so very hawt in Mission: Impossible -Ghost Protocol or Kate Beckinsale (fresh in the brain on account of Total Recall).

But I don't want to hog all the fun. Which actresses would you line up to see in a huge dumb explosive ensemble actioner? Give me at least six of your favorite options, preferrably ten, ranked, in the comments. Maybe we'll revisit this once we have all your lists.

Ready... set... GO!

 

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  • Response
    Just read it and went gosh, I know why I was poor in the debate class. - If builders built buildings the way programmers wrote programs, then the first woodpecker that came along would destroy civilization. Attributed to Weinbergs Second Law
  • Response
    I wanted to thank you for this great read!! I definitely enjoying every little bit of it I have you bookmarked to check out new stuff you post.
  • Response
    I realize the worry.I am very sad to hear that you got your Supra fixed. I remember reading about some of your problems.

Reader Comments (44)

If a producer ever makes this, I bet he will try hard to get Angelina to be in it. Maybe Kate Beckingsale too? Uma Thurmann? Definitely Lucy Lawless.

I would however, rather watch the girls you've mentioned: Weaver, Yeoh, Hamilton, Grier are all so watchable...

August 19, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterConrad

I was spitballing with Andreas on twitter. And it seems like pure-jest, but I'm really, sort of serious about it. Jane Campion directs THE EXPENDABLES, using her former female costars. Listed from most likely to kick-ass well:

Holly Hunter
Nicole Kidman
Kate Winslet
Anna Paquin
Abbie Cornish
Barbara Hershey
Jennifer Jason Leigh
Kerry Fox

and throw in Elizabeth who's in her upcoming TV series and Kerry Washington, just because and I think we've got ourselves a real party.

August 19, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterAndrew K.

Rae Dawn Chong, Grace Jones, Cynthia Rothrock, Jamie Lee Curtis, and Tilda Swinton. I can dream, can't I?

August 19, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterDS

I guess Angelina should be there. Carrie-Anne Moss. Rebecca Romijn. Queen Latifa. Sarah Michelle Gellar. I'm done for now.

(But, really, equality or not, I don't care for a female Expendables. I want my girls to do more interesting things.)

August 19, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterJames T

Going with the theme of people who used to be big in the 80's and 90's and then went away, and not exclusively action-related ladies, but actresses who would be great if they kicked ass:

Sigourney Weaver, Linda Hamilton, Daryl Hanna and Pam Grier are all yes. Add to that Kathleen Turner, Cher, Geena Davis, Jamie Lee Curtis, Ally Sheedy, Whoopi Goldberg, okay this needs to happen!

August 19, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterRobert A.

Haven't been mentioned:

Geena Davis
Famke Janssen
Noomi Rapace
Helen Mirren
Meryl Streep
Gillian Anderson
Lena Headey

August 19, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterArkaan

I'm going to cheat and just name one: Anne Parillaud, the original and still best Nikita. Along with Ripley, the character and actress to whom almost all contemporary kick-ass women are indebted.

But to be honest . . .

(But, really, equality or not, I don't care for a female Expendables. I want my girls to do more interesting things.)

Yep.

August 19, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterLiz N.

Gina Carano - I actually really liked Haywire, of course Soderbergh was the real star of that movie, but she could be huge with the right vehicle (she'll be in the next Fast & the Furious movie so she's on the right track).
Rosario Dawson - When does she not kick ass? No list is complete without her on it.
Michelle Rodriguez - This is right up her alley, plus imagine the one-liners!
Lucy Liu - See: Charlies Angels, Kill Bill
Lucy Lawless - XENA!
Katee Sackhoff - 'nuf said.
Ellen Barkin - not an action star but such a bad-ass in real life; maybe a bit part?
Kelly Hu - Because...where the hell is she?!
Famke Janssen - She's Jean EFFIN' Grey!
Carla Gugino - Put her in everything. Yes.
Gina Gershon - Why not?
Laila Ali - not an actress, but an intimidating presence and (like Carano) a trained fighter.
Magge Q - See: Nikita, Mission Impossible III, Live Free or Die Hard
Hilary Swank - I know how y'all feel about her...but isn't weird that she hasn't really done an action flick (the original Buffy & The Next Karate Kid notwithstanding).

Maybe:
Noomi Rapace
Michelle Monaghan
Moon Bloodgood
Jessica Biel
Paula Patton
Eva Mendes
Gabrielle Union
....
I guess Angelina and Zoe should be there too, but they're a bit obvious, no?

August 19, 2012 | Unregistered Commenterthefilmjunkie

thefilmjunkie -- you know what's really weird? as i was typing up the names I actually thought of Hilary Swank and for a split second I thought "now, that is a hilary swank role i could get behind". she has used her physicality to such strong effect in her two most famous roles that why hasn't she done action flicks? Just some of her celebrity portraiture alone around the MILLION DOLLAR BABY time period screams "action star!"

Liz & James T -- well yeah, but Hollywood really ought to be an EEO.

August 19, 2012 | Registered CommenterNATHANIEL R

Also: Zhang Zi-yi!

August 19, 2012 | Unregistered Commenterthefilmjunkie

Nathan I don't believe you..I don't believe...I know you're trying to avoid Timothy Green just say something that's true!

Almodóvar wants to work with Jolie on an English language project. He has plans for Streep "he wants to rediscover her" and loves Winslet. I so badly want these important auteurs to recognize the actresses Hollywood has thrown to the wayside who can do equal or superior work to these popular names.

August 19, 2012 | Unregistered Commenter4rtful

Nathaniel, I'm waiting on the edge of my seat for your review of Hope Springs. I was pleasantly surprised that the film far exceeded my expectations. It's totally not a comedy, but it does have comedic moments. It was perfectly cast and the performances are great. I'd go so far as to call it an 'important' film, based solely on the subject matter, which is never, ever discussed in society, let alone in movies.

August 19, 2012 | Unregistered Commenterbrandz

My list is VERY similar to yours:

1. Sigourney Weaver
2. Linda Hamilton
3. Michelle Yeoh
4. Uma Thurman
5. Peta Wilson (Loved her in La femme Nikita TV show)
6. Pam Grier
7. Anne Parillaud
8. Courtney Love (For some craziness)
9. Sharon Stone (She kicked some serious ass in Total Recall)
10. Honor Blackman (At least a cameo. Something like Charlton Heston in True Lies).

Angelina Jolie of course is current action queen, but she's so full of herself recently.

August 19, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterAgent69

For starters, I'd cast Maggie Smith commanding all of them and being bitchy. She opens the movie surprisingly killing a young starlet who actually has no lines. I'm thinking of Kate Bosworth.

Then, as there must be diversity, from a producer point of view, I'd cast Sofia Vergara If Sofia Vergara running in slow motion can't get the straight male audience, I don't know who could.

I've always wanted to see Weaver and Sarandon together, so a face off would be great. And if it is in the way Fassbender and McAvoy did in X-Men, being friends that become enemies, even better. But I haven't seen The Expendables, so I don't know if there must be half a dozen, or a dozen, or if they all work together à la Ocean's Eleven (pensioners) or in two teams.

August 19, 2012 | Unregistered Commenteriggy

Sigourney Weaver, Uma Thurman, Michelle Yeoh, Linda Hamilton, Angelina Jolie, Milla Jovovich, Sarah Michelle Gellar, Charlize Theron, Angela Basset, Pam Grier, Lucy Liu and Geena Davis

August 19, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterFernando Moss

ANGELA BASSETT for the love of god

August 19, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterJA

O.K., I made a comparision between the original Expendables and the new female cast:

*Sylvester Stallone - Sigourney Weaver
Both are the primal action heroes by the 80s. and Oscar nominees

*Jason Statham - Gina Carano
The action heroes of the new generation and also have films with serious directors. Ironically, both are former athletes -He's an Olympic diver and she's a mixed martial artist-

*Randy Couture - Milla Jovovich:
Like Statham-Carano case, both have different careers -He's a mixed martial artist and she's a model-. Their film careers are focused in action films even when they tried in other genres

*Jet Li - Michelle Yeoh
Maybe it sounds a little racist, but if you have the biggest male action hero from Asia, you must need the female counterpart. A female Expendable without Yeoh will be incomplete.

*Mickey Rourke - Pam Grier:
Former has-been actors who got a second opportunity to shine -Sin City / Jackie Brown-. Also, Pam is the primal diva of the blaxplotation film.

*Dolph Lundgren - Famke Janssen:
Both are European born actors -Germanic countries not less: Sweden/Netherlands- and both hae their ups and lows -Now with films released in DVDs. Also their villains are awesome.

*Terry Crews - Maggie Q:
Crews and Q played sidekick roles in films and leading roles in TV. Both starred action, comedic and even dramatic roles.

*Eric Roberts - Daryl Hannah (Alt: Lucy Liu)
Their golden age was also by the 80s and both actors played the villains before. Another "Elle Driver" would be awesome... If not, I would love Lucy Liu as an O-ren's type of villain. Kill Bill as a female villains.

*Bruce Willis - Lucy Lawless:
Even when Lawless starred later as Willis, both have their fame with action roles but also show their excellent comedic gig before.

*Arnold Schwarzenegger - Linda Hamilton:
A Terminator link would be awesome and I would love to see the two primal action female heroes compete each other

Now, if they want to include younger female actors:

-Sarah Michelle Gellar: SHE'S BUFFY and she deserves a second chance
-Summer Glau: Her fans are still with her and she could make it big.

And for the male eye-candy ;P.

*Charisma Carpenter - Taylor Kitsch

*Giselle Itié - Edgar Ramirez or Rodrigo Santoro

August 19, 2012 | Unregistered Commenterleon

It would be delicious to have a female version of "The Expendables".
Here's my list:

1. Uma Thurman
2. Sigourney Weaver
3. Angelina Jolie
4. Michelle Yeoh
5. Linda Hamilton
6. Charlize Theron
7. Kate Beckinsale
8. Carrie-Anne Moss
9. Sharon Stone
10. Jennifer Garner

* HONORABLE MENTION: Noomi Rapace

August 19, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterEdgar P.

I've actually been thinking about this idea for a few days now.
Heroes
- Sigourney Weaver: Stallone's role
- Milla Jovovich: Statham's role
- Michelle Rodriguez: Crews' role
- Gina Carano: Couture's role
- Lucy Lawless: Dolph's role
- JeeJa Yanin (Chocolate, Raging Phoenix): Li's role
- Pam Grier: Willis' role
-Cynthia Rothrock: Arnold's role
-Michelle Yeoh: Rourke's role
-Paula Patton: Hemsworth's role

Villains
- Linda Hamilton: main villain
- Kate Beckinsale: second in command
- Maggie Q: henchwoman
- Zoe Bell (Xena vs her stunt double!!!): henchwoman

August 19, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterAlex

Or, if we include the cast of "The Expendables 2":

*Jean-Claude Van Damme - Lucy Liu:
This is an stretch, I know, but if that's means we have Daryl Hannah and Lucy Liu as a villains, well better for me!!

*Chuck Norris - Michelle Rodriguez:
Another stretch, but how can I forgot her in the other list? She's the ultimate badass action actress and take it the Latin spot...

And finally:

*Amanda Ooms - Alexander Skarsgard:
She's Pilar, the snipper. Another excuse, but hey, we can get the Viking sex-god in another film, preferably shirtless

August 19, 2012 | Unregistered Commenterleon

People I'd love to see ...

Sarah Michelle Gellar
Lucy Liu
Pam Grier
Mila Kunis

August 19, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterPhilip

-Pam Grier
-Helen Mirren
-Angelina Jolie
-Sigourney Weaver
-Lucy Lawless
-Grace Jones
-Demi Moore
-Sharon Stone
-Linda Hamilton
-Peggy Lipton

August 19, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterPat

I am thinking about a gay Expendables, with the most badass gay actors ever. Of course McKellen would be the leader...

August 19, 2012 | Unregistered Commentercal roth

ASHLEY JUDD.

August 19, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterErnie

Funny, Léa Seydoux's name popped into my head before reading her name in the article. She was such a petite lethal thing in Mission: Impossible - Ghost Protocol, so pouty and vicious. And I'd pay good money to watch Gina Gershon kick ass.

One that hasn't been mentioned yet: Asia Argento. Her acting abilities may be debatable, but girl has undeniable sceen presence and charisma to spare.

August 19, 2012 | Unregistered Commenterm83

Weaver, Yeoh, Grier, Hamilton, Turner, Curtis, Jones, Mirren

August 19, 2012 | Unregistered Commentereurocheese

I have to disagree with the underlying idea behind both this blog entry and a female Expendables. It would seem to me that a movie like the Expendables sort of side steps the issue of misogyny because I think the entire idea of the movie is just to get the most legendarily badass, testosterone-oozing action stars alive onto one screen. I think the entire point of the movie is to give the past two generations of men who love shameless machismo-laden action movies their dream movie by sticking Stallone, Schwarzenegger, Willis, and a bunch of action B stars from their generation in with Statham and Jet Li and some B action heroes from the newer generation. Whether it works or not is obviously another conversation but I must say that complaining about the lack of women in a movie so unabashedly ABOUT hyper-masculinity almost feels like complaining about a lack of men in like The Women or something like that. And the idea of making a female Expendables seems to miss the point for the same reason. I think the real problem is obviously the lack of feminine movies coming out of Hollywood: movies about women, for women.

Though at the same time, and I say this as an unabashed fan of the Stallone, Schwarzenegger, Willis lineage of action heroes, something like the Expendables probably shouldn't be compared with a women's picture of any socially liberating or high artistic value. It's pure guilty pleasure playing to all the most shameless masculine hero fantasies, so it's opposite number probably is in fact something like Sex and the City. I really don't believe average women would rush out to see Weaver, Grier, and Yeoh kick ass like my friends and I rush out to see the Expendables, because that movie wouldn't be playing to women's guilty pleasures.

August 19, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterCasey Fiore

diane keaton, dianne weist, mia farrow, mira sorvino, louise lasser and judy davis in woody allen's the expendables

explosions are for idiots

August 19, 2012 | Unregistered Commenterpar3182

casey -- good point, actually

par3182 -- lol. and that alternate movie sounds awesome.

August 20, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterNATHANIEL R

HELEN MIRREN

Doesn't anyone remember her standing behind a half-inch machine gun blasting the hell out of stuff in RED (and RED 2 out soon?)?

She'd also make an excellent "brains behind..." type (Bruce Willis role?).

August 20, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterMikeyB

Did anyone said Asia Argento yet?!

August 20, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterRachelle

JA--Thank you! Angela Bassett is certainly one of most talented, beautiful, kick-ass underemployed actresses today. She would be #1 on my list for the boss.

#2--Michelle Rodriguez (once of the best things in LOST until she got drunk and then kicked off the show)
#3-- Claudia Black (Farscape, Stargate SG-1)
#4-- Michelle Yeoh
#5--Gina Carano
#6--Lucy Lawless
Back-ups: Sarah Michelle Gellar, Lucy Liu, Maggie Q

August 20, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterPam

Do I remember Lena Olin killing someone with just her thighs or did I just dream that?

August 20, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterDave in Alamitos Beach

Dave -- you did not dream it. The movie was something with Juliette Lewis but i can't remember the name. Lena did UNSPEAKABLE things ni that movie.

August 20, 2012 | Unregistered Commenternathanielr

Nathaniel - Maybe is that film "Romeo is Bleeding"?

August 20, 2012 | Unregistered Commenterleon

yes, yes, Romeo Is Bleeding! Are we allowed to link? I remember her as being evil personified and it looks like her victim is Gary Oldman. Why did I remember Jet Li for cripe's sake:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WNUj6DGK1cY

August 20, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterDave in Alamitos Beach

Stallone, Lundgren, Statham and Norris...they all have such punchable faces in that poster.

August 20, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterBia

Cameron Diaz and Jennifer Garner staring
Famke Janssen, Michelle Rodriguez and Asia Argento to be part of their team
Daryl Hannah as their mentor
Noomi Rapace and Kelly Hu as villains
Sigourney Weaver as the main villain
Cameos by Pam Grier, Lucy Lawless, Linda Hamilton

August 20, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterLeo

Peta Wilson

August 21, 2012 | Unregistered Commentermax

Thia is the best list:
1.LUCY LAWLESS
2.CYNTHIA ROTHROCK
3.MICHELLE YEOH
4.LINDA HAMILTON
5.SIGOURNEY WEAVER
6.CORY EVERSON
7.GINA CARANO
8.JEEJA YANIN
AS FOR THE VILLAINS: LUCY LIU AND KELLY HU WOULD BE GREAT

August 24, 2012 | Unregistered Commenterkick-ass tud

THIS IS THE BEST LIST:
1.LUCY LAWLESS
2.CYNTHIA ROTHROCK
3.MICHELLE YEOH
4.LINDA HAMILTON
5.SIGOURNEY WEAVER
6.KELLY HU
7.GINA CARANO
8.JEEJA YANIN
AS FOR THE VILLAINS:CORY EVERSON, LUCY LIU AND FAMKE JANSSEN WOULD BE GREAT

August 24, 2012 | Unregistered Commenterkick-ass tud

There's already one like this on the slate, partially cast and "in development" - www.soldiergirlsmovie.com

August 30, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterRuss Whitfield

I think that the cast, especially the villainess, must take into account the argument.
It would not the same "bad girls" If the argument, as it was expendables 1, is a somewhat tyrannical and corrupt President, for example the current Chair of Argentina (and his Secretaries of State, advisors and members of Congress), that if the heroines confront a band of drug traffickers or if they investigate a prostitution network and it would also be different, if you face some former comrades who went from the dark side.
In each case, it would have to assemble the cast according to the role.
But beyond those who are the antagonists, Linda Hamilton and Segourney Weaver, should be absent between experienced heroines, . Idem for Gina Carano and Milla Jovovich among the new blood of the group.
In respect of the first paragraph, if the script brings us to the first argument, Demi Moore or Sharon Stone, perhaps Geena Davis or Daryl, be very well as the despotic leader, and Tia Carrere is directly essential as the head of security, SS type. They fought the final battle against one of the mature and one of the young heroines, obviously.

September 27, 2012 | Unregistered Commenterllik

I think that the cast, especially the villainess, must take into account the argument.
It would not the same "bad girls" If the argument, as it was expendables 1, is a somewhat tyrannical and corrupt President, for example the current Chair of Argentina (and his Secretaries of State, advisors and members of Congress), that if the heroines confront a band of drug traffickers or if they investigate a prostitution network and it would also be different, if you face some former comrades who went from the dark side.
In each case, it would have to assemble the cast according to the role.
But beyond those who are the antagonists, Linda Hamilton and Segourney Weaver, should be absent between experienced heroines, . Idem for Gina Carano and Milla Jovovich among the new blood of the group.
In respect of the first paragraph, if the script brings us to the first argument, Demi Moore or Sharon Stone, perhaps Geena Davis or Daryl, be very well as the despotic leader, and Tia Carrere is directly essential as the head of security, SS type. They fought the final battle against one of the mature and one of the young heroines, obviously.

September 27, 2012 | Unregistered Commenterllik

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