As somebody who was raised on a steady diet of 1980’s macho-man testosterone and cheesy one-liners, I’m a huge fan of The Expendables series. Yes, it’s all meathead machismo, and the first movie was far too serious, but I had some fun with the third (mainly thanks to a scenery chomping Mel Gibson) and had a complete riot with the endlessly entertaining second flick. These movies know what they are – brainless, explosion-filled diversions – and don’t try to be anything more. Except maybe also a TV show.
Deadline is reporting that the movie franchise’s writer and star Sylvester Stallone is teaming up with Fox and Lionsgate TV to develop an Expendables event series, which is said to be “a fun action drama that unites iconic TV stars as a new team of highly-skilled heroes who are on a mission to stop a dangerous terrorist”. Stallone will only acting as executive producer on this TV version though, while NCIS: Los Angeles creator Shane Brennan will be showrunner. He will be joined by Ride Along screenwriter Greg Coolidge and newcomer scribe Kirk Ward, who will both be writing/executive producing alongside Brennan.
Although there have been zero announcements as to cast and story, it doesn’t take much to start dreaming up the long list of actors/actresses who can be pulled in here: Tom Selleck (Magnum P.I.), Lucy Lawless (Xena: Warrior Princess), Kevin Sorbo (Hercules), Richard Dean Anderson (MacGuyver), Amanda Tapping (Stargate), Claudia Black (Farscape), David Hasselhoff (Knight Rider), Gina Torres (Firefly), Pierce Brosnan (Remington Steele), Sam Jones (The Highwayman), Mr. T (The A-Team), Chuck Norris (Walker: Texas Ranger), Katee Sackhoff (Battlestar Galactica), Fred Dryer (Hunter), Michael Dorn (Star Trek), Jeri Ryan (Star Trek) and of course Kiefer Sutherland (24). And that’s just the ones that I thought of off the top of my head!
The event series format – usually only a handful of episodes as opposed to the network standard of 24 installments, operating at a much higher budget – is a great format for this, as it allows for a nice big cast that audiences are given time to adapt to, while not having to really skimp too much on the explosive action set pieces that have been a cornerstone of the Expendables franchise. Keep the nostalgia fuel that the franchise has been running in, but steer it slightly away from the more militaristic tone of the movies, and make it more of a riff on all those car chase heavy cop shows/vigilante shows of the 1980’s/early 1990’s, and this could be gold.
This is not the first time that an Expendables TV series has been proposed, as Lionsgate was thinking about it back in 2012 already. With the three Expendables movies having nearly brought in a combined $800 million worldwide, the studio has been looking for ways to extend the franchise, with Stallone already thinking up developing ideas for fourth and fifth film, as well as a feature film focusing on an all-female version of the Expendables also being in development since 2012. Hopefully this TV version doesn’t take as long to be realized as that.
So who would your TV Expendables be?
Last Updated: March 9, 2015