IGN points out that the official site of production company Millennium Films now includes an updated cast list and both Norris and Van Damme are included on said list, along with potential new addition Scott Adkins. While their presence on an official cast listing would seem to confirm their involvement, let's not get ahead of ourselves. The first The Expendables saw a juggling of many castmembers right up until production actually began, so nothing's guaranteed.
Additionally, the cast list also includes Bruce Willis and Arnold Schwarzenegger, both of whom appeared an a brief cameo scene alongside Stallone in the first outing. The erstwhile Rocky and Rambo has repeatedly voiced a desire to lure his contemporaries back into the fold for expanded roles in the sequel, with Willis playing the villain. Still, nothing has been confirmed with either actor. Willis in particular is likely to be very busy with Die Hard 5 and a Red sequel in the near future.
Jean Claude Van Damme and Chuck Norris need no introduction, having dispatched many a nameless henchman in their long careers as action stars. In his late 80's and early 90's heyday, Van Damme found a way to work the splits into the action scenes of films such as Lionheart, Timecop, Universal Soldier, Hard Target, and Double Impact. Still starring in regular direct-to-DVD releases, he's enjoyed something of a resurgence lately as a result of his surprisingly self-aware directorial debut JCVD.
Chuck Norris, meanwhile, starred as unstoppable ass-kickers in 80's actioners like Missing in Action and The Delta Force before settling into a nine season role as the title character on Walker, Texas Ranger. In the last several years, Norris has become an example of meme-dom taking on a life of its own, as his name is now the exemplar of ironic badassdom, and he's used the clout to stump for political causes and figures including Mike Huckabee. If he joins this sequel, he'll be the most experienced Expendable at 71 years old.
Despite the success of the first film, which featured Jet Li, Jason Statham, Randy Couture, Mickey ROurke, Dolph Lundgren, Terry Crews, Steve Austin, and Eric Roberts, Stallone will not be returning as writer, nor as director. He'll still star, but the screenplay is written by David Agosto and Ken Kaufman, with Simon West set to direct. West is best known as the helmer responsible for Con-Air and Lara Croft: Tomb Raider, as well as the recent The Mechanic remake starring Statham.
In case you missed it back when it first appeared during the Cannes Film Festival in May, here's the official synopsis for the sequel, but BE WARNED, THERE BE SPOILERS.
The Expendables are back and this time it's personal! After Tool (Mickey Rourke), the heart and soul of the Expendables, is brutally murdered on a mission, his comrades swear to avenge him. They're not the only ones who want blood. Tool’s beautiful young and wild daughter Fiona embarks on her own revenge mission, complicating matters when she is captured and ransomed by a ruthless dictator plotting to destroy a resistance movement. Now Barney and the Expendables must risk everything to save her and humanity.
The Expendables is currently set for a theatrical release on August 17, 2012, almost exactly two years after its predecessor.