Though The Expendables 2 only hit theaters a few days ago, we’ve already got casting news for The Expendables 3 — or, more specifically, word on who won’t be appearing in the film. When asked at the recent premiere for The Expendables 2 if he’d be “ready for number three,” Norris smiled and laughed before saying, “Nope, just number two … this is it for me.”
“It was special just to do the film with guys I’ve known for many, many years, and as a chance to get together and fight with them it was a lot of fun. Plus, getting a chance to meet Terry [Crews], who I hadn’t met before, and Jason [Statham] who I hadn’t met, it was fun, just to do that,” Norris told Access Hollywood (try the 1:14 mark in that video for relevant quotes).
That’s all very touching, but it makes us curious as to what might be Norris’ true motivation here, or if perhaps he’s unhappy with the direction Sylvester Stallone has taken for The Expendables 2. Remember when Norris claimed that The Expendables 2 would feature a PG-13 rating specifically because he hoped to ensure that younger fans could see his work in the film? Then remember how, despite Stallone backing his claims, the movie was actually granted an R rating, barring any of those aforementioned youngsters from seeing the thing without a parent or morally suspect adult supervisor? All of that happened and Norris has never addressed the situation.
Sure, for all we know Norris is just getting on in years and doesn’t have the stamina or desire to join another big action flick production. The man is 72 years old after all, and though he’s in far better shape at that age than most of us in our twenties, there comes a point in life when your body no longer wants to do what you tell it. However, that still leaves the whole R rating fiasco up in the air. Is Norris still fuming over Stallone’s false reassurance that The Expendables 2 would be suitable for younger folk? Would that be enough to drive him away from appearing in a still-hypothetical movie in which he’d likely get paid just to show up on screen for a few moments and fire a prop gun aimlessly? We won’t claim to understand Norris’ desires here, so until the man officially clears things up, we’re going to be constantly worried about a depressingly slow, brutal fist fight between Stallone and Norris. There are few things sadder than watching the elderly throw down.
Oh, and needless to say, we’re only believing Norris’ claims that he’s finished with the series tentatively. It’s possible that when production fires up on The Expendables 3 that Norris would be given a massively expanded role or an immense paycheck. Every man has his price, even a stocky ginger that the Internet believes can roudhouse kick cancer into submission.