That's how it looks right now, but keep in mind that the vagaries of casting can wreak havoc on an Expendables picture right up through production. So we're taking nothing for granted here, but it certainly sounds as though the third installment is rounding up a cadre of actors who can reliably power through an action sequence and deliver a one-liner with aplomb.
Since the appeal of these movies is based on the novelty of rounding up many a disparate action star and putting them all in one place, the addition of heavy hitters like these four is all-important.
According to Deadline, Lionsgate CEO Jon Feltheimer announced to analysts this morning that Chan, Snipes, Jovovich, and Cage are all in "advanced negotiations" to appear in The Expendables 3.
Chan represents a big and rather unexpected get for the franchise, as he's an actor one has to imagine was invited to the party on both previous installments. Before The Expendables 2 even hit theaters, producer Avi Lerner voiced his intent to have Snipes join the franchise after the actor's release from prison for his tax peccadilloes. Jovovich, meanwhile, is one of the few actresses who can support an unapologetic action franchise, as she's done with the resilient Resident Evil series. The Expendables movies are masculine affairs, and Jovovich should bring a welcome feminine touch. Finally, Cage was long rumored as an addition to The Expendables 2, and while that never worked out, he's long been confirmed for round three.
Clint Eastwood and Harrison Ford have both mentioned on the casting wishlist, but since we've heard naught on either, it's pretty much guaranteed that neither actor is looking to partake in the action shenanigans.
Mickey Rourke, though, is expected to return after sitting out the second entry. He'll join Sylvester Stallone, who directed the first film and contributed to the screenplay for the second. Jason Statham, the second lead in the series, is expected to return. Beyond that, it's tough to be sure which actors will appear in the next sequel (Bruce Willis and Arnold Schwarzenegger are probably out at this point).
After action veteran Simon West stepped in to direct the last movie, Stallone and producers made a surprising choice for the director of The Expendables 3, hiring Patrick Hughes, who helmed the down and dirty Australian western Red Hill in 2010.
Production is expected to get underway this August, so expect more from The Expendables 3 over the next several months.