The Expendables 2 hits theaters this Friday. Here are six things you probably didn’t know about the action-packed film starring some of the biggest names in Hollywood.
1. The budget of The Expendables 2 was $100 million, $20 million more than the original. Though that may sound like a lot, producer Avi Lerner is notoriously budget-conscious when it comes to making films. He even purchased a Communist-era studio to cut costs.
“It’s the least expensive country in Eastern Europe to shoot in,” Lerner told the Los Angeles Times. “Labor cost is the main difference. It’s not always easy to convince producers to shoot in Bulgaria, but it comes down to the bottom line and it’s cheaper.”
2. Sylvester Stallone intentionally cast actors who hadn’t a lot of success in recent films.
"I like using people that had a moment and then maybe have fallen on some hard times and give them another shot,” he told Entertainment Weekly. “So we’re always looking for actors like Michael Biehn and Michael Paré. I like those kinds of guys. Someone did it for me and I like to see if I can do it for them."
3. On October 27, 2011, stuntman Kun Liu was killed during a staged explosion on a boat. Another stuntman, Nuo Sun, was severely injured. Liu’s family filed a wrongful death lawsuit last month, alleging unsafe work conditions.
"The defendants “recklessly organized, planned, set up, produced, directed, trained, coordinated and otherwise prepared for and implemented the stunt which involved the use of explosives and other similar ultra-hazardous activities in the rubber boat so as to cause an explosion, thereby injuring Liu and causing his death," the lawsuit alleges.
4. The accident wasn’t the only trouble the crew of Expendables 2 experienced in Bulgaria. The nation’s environmental protection agency fined filmmakers for unlawfully removing shrubs and trees from the entrance of Devetashka Cave.
5. Brian Tyler composed the score for The Expendables 2. Tyler has also composed music for the Expendables, Rambo, Fast & Furious, The Final Destination, Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3, among other action-packed films.
6. A third Expendables film is already in the works. Nicholas Cage is already on board, and filmmakers reportedly have their eye on Clint Eastwood, Wesley Snipes, and Harrison Ford. The concept of The Expendables 3 is still up in the air.
"The third one is the hardest,” Stallone said. “We’re thinking ambitiously about it. You now have to give audiences something they don’t expect at all – maybe even going into a different genre.”
The cast of The Expendables 2 reads like a who’s who of action stars with Sylvester Stallone, Jason Statham, Jet Li, Dolph Lundgren, Chuck Norris, Terry Crews, Randy Couture, Liam Hemsworth, Jean-Claude Van Damme, Bruce Willis, and Arnold Schwarzenegger appearing in the film.