Can you ever really save a franchise when it loses it's biggest star? The Expendables is about to find out.
In a blow to action movie junkies everywhere, Deadline reports that Sylvester Stallone has dropped out of both The Expendables 4 and the franchise as a whole due to creative differences with producer Avi Lerner.
The two were so divided that they apparently couldn't even agree on which visual effects house to use for the sequel, which was officially announced as the final Expendables movie back in December.
Digital Spy has reached out to Stallone's representative on this shocking development.
For his part, producer Avi Lerner is still holding out hope that he can talk Sly round to reprise his leading role as retired special ops leader-turned-mercenary Barney Ross one last time.
"We've got disagreements with Sly, but we've had them for over a year and a half," Lerner insisted. "Right now, each one has 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... In my opinion, it's not dead."
Besides veterans Arnold Schwarzenegger and Jason Statham, no cast members were ever announced for The Expendables 4 but WWE legend Hulk Hogan, martial arts icon Jackie Chan and even former Bond Pierce Brosnan have all been rumoured in the past.
Stallone's had a career renaissance of late thanks to his Academy Award-nominated return to the Rocky franchise with Creed back in 2015.
Later this year, he'll join the Marvel Cinematic Universe with a top secret appearance in Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 to set up the next phase of that blockbuster franchise.
Maybe he just doesn't have time for small-time mercenary jobs anymore?
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