A few minutes of brand new footage, including a 15-20 minute behind-the-scenes look, from “The Expendables 3” debuted at the 2014 Cannes Film Festival along with more detailed information about the upcoming third installment and Jason Statham’s on set accident.
Proceed with caution as spoilers are included.
Here are several excerpts from known film websites that attended the exclusive screening as well as the “The Expendables 3” press conference on Sunday, May 18, 2014.
Total Film: First things first – fans of the last two are in for a treat. The footage we saw guarantees The Expendables 3 will be bigger, barmier and more blow-y up-y than ever before, with CGI-lite action, chucklesome humour, explosions and vehicular mayhem (boat, truck, bomber and even train-to-helicopter stunts are all promised) en masse.
And the stunts look bigger and more dangerous than ever – in one terrifying and then thankfully ultimately hilarious behind-the-scenes scene, the brakes fail on a truck that Jason Statham’s driving, leading him to plough into bunch of stunt guys, and then plummet off a dock.
Luckily, everyone seemed fine – and Sly even cracked a joke about filming the whole shebang on his iPhone.
In one scene, Ford turns to Stallone and says “I haven’t had this much fun in years.”
Variety: Sylvester Stallone confirmed that the film would be PG-13 and that there was a “good chance” of a female “Expendables” movie. On the question of ratings, he said the film would be “very close to an R,” but added, “We think we owe it to the next generation that they won’t have to sneak in to our film.”
The event couldn’t have played better if it had been scripted, and one journalist thanked them for “bringing the fun back to Cannes,” which was warmly applauded.
Asked whether — given they were “of a certain age” — the older cast members needed to “take precautions” during the shooting of action scenes, Sly was dismissive.
“Precautions are not in the budget,” he said. “Everybody gets hurt. Everybody goes home bruised.”
“You try to take precautions, but when you do hands on action, that’s what you take pride in: actually getting the bumps and bruises. You take the pain and it paid off.”
Mel Gibson added that they had taken over a whole wing of a hospital.
Arnold Schwarzenegger said the walls had been padded in fight scenes, and when Stallone was hitting him, “he was taking it easy.” And, as a concession, they “didn’t use live ammo.”
When asked, “How do know when you are too old to be an action star?,” Stallone responded: “You wake up in the morning and your ass falls off. Then you know.”
He then added, “Let me tell you: we are children with arthritis.”
Gibson was asked if the others were jealous because he “got all the women” in the past decades, but he responded quizzically, “Did I get all the women back then? I can’t remember, which means I must be too old for this franchise.”
The event then slid into bromance mode with Sly speaking fondly of Arnie. “Even though he has big arms, he has a bigger brain. We are very similar in many ways,” he said. “We are like Ali and Frazier in our competitiveness. As we get older, he makes me work harder.”
Schwarzenegger said Stallone was “a great inspiration to me even though we were competitors,” and they would compete to see who killed more bad guys in their movies, and who was killing “most efficiently.”
At which point they appeared to cuddle up, or at least put their arms around each other in a manly way.
Gibson broke the spell by saying that, “Competition was stiffer in the 1980s than 2014. I’m sure we can all agree, it is not as stiff now.”
The Hollywood Reporter: When a journalist inevitably shined a spotlight on the elephant in the room, asking the cast when they’ll know it’s finally time to call it quits, Stallone quipped, “I think when you wake up in the morning and your ass falls off, it’s time to retire,” adding: “We are children with arthritis; we are young forever!” The crowd erupted with hoots and applause.
In a more serious vein, he explained his thoughts on the ongoing evolution of the franchise: “With the first one, I didn’t know which direction to go. It was experimental, more dramatic and heavier. In the second one, I think we went too far in the comedy and one-liners. … I believe we finally got it right on the third one.”
“It’s kind of like marriage,” he joked, drawing big smiles from his fellow multiply divorced and remarried castmembers.
Stallone also revealed that Expendables 3 will be PG-13, unlike the R-rated earlier films. “We want to reach as many people as possible,” he said. “it’s very close to an R — it’s right there, believe me.”
When asked what it was like to work with so much veteran talent, director Patrick Hughes, whose feature credits include only the Aussie action film Red Hill (2010), recalled that he bought his first movie camera as a kid after saving up money from a paper route job. The “film” was 23 seconds long and featured “my Rambo action figure setting fire to my Han Solo figurine” with flammable bug spray. He said it was “pretty surreal” working with the actual actors behind those iconic characters, later adding that the biggest challenge of making the film was simple scheduling, given the large cast’s many commitments.
Ford, a new addition to the franchise, said he had great fun working on the film, while Stallone explained how they added pilot scenes for Ford to show off his real-life helicopter flying skills.
As they did in the golden age of action cinema, Stallone and Schwarzenegger stole most of the spotlight. Discussing their rivalry in the ’80s and early ’90s, the stars alternated between good-natured barbs and expressions of mutual respect.
Stallone kicked it off saying, “Even though he has big arms, he has a bigger brain. We are very similar in many ways. We are almost like Ali and Frazier. Thank God for Arnold because he made me work harder.”
Schwarzenegger replied by saying that Stallone was “a great inspiration to me even though we were competitors.” He said he had deep respect for Stallone’s talent as a writer, director, musician and even painter, noting that he owns several of Stallone’s paintings.
But when a journalist asked which of one another’s roles they wish they could have performed, Schwarzenegger reverted to his more familiar mode of sarcastic big man bonhomie, “I remember Stop! Or My Mom Will Shoot (1992, a commercial and critical flop). I think Sly was wearing diapers and that looked pretty fun.”
Stallone shot back, “Didn’t you have a baby in a movie?,” a reference to Schwarzenegger’s turn in Junior (1994) as a male scientist who carries a child to term.
Gibson, impressively bearded and a more laconic presence throughout, then jumped in, saying the competition between musclemen was indeed “stiff” back in the day. He then drew groans from the stage and laughter from the crowd, adding: “Competition was stiff in the ’80s. I think we can all agree in 2014, it’s not so stiff now.”
Whether “The Expendables 3” is rated PG-13 or not, it doesn’t take away from our excitement about the film which will be out in the US on August 15, 2014 and in the UK on August 14, 2014 (apparently the UK release date was adjusted).