With talk of 'The Expendables 3' going back to early this year, the film has already been discussed at length. Time to start contemplating the stunt casting for ‘The Expendables 4’ already, right?

But even though it seems ‘The Expendables 3’ was getting more coverage than the sequel at hand last week, most of that was all speculation and wishful thinking along with some humorous lists of unlikely actors to bring into the fold of action heroes. We've got a different idea for the sequel though...

Going on and on about who should be cast in ‘The Expendables 3’ is getting rather old. We know Nicolas Cage is attached and guys like Harrison Ford and Clint Eastwood have been sought. It’s easy to go through a library of action movies and pick out more names for the purpose of continued gimmick and nostalgic one-liner callbacks (a cameo from Ford or Eastwood as the President would be a nice touch).

But what we really wanted to talk about was a bigger change from 'Expendables 2' to 'Expendables 3' than just the cast. Would it be strange for ‘The Expendables 3’ to venture into completely new territory, genre-wise? As it turns out, Sylvester Stallone recently hinted at the very idea of “going into another genre” with the series. But we shouldn’t expect the team to travel through time, even if forward to the future via cryogenics. And we won't be seeing them riding aboard a spaceship. Still, an alien invasion, if not a huge one, might be right up their alley.

More specifically, deductive reasoning has brought about the notion that Stallone will be reworking a past script for ‘Rambo V,’ which had been adapted from James Byron Huggins’ novel ‘Hunter.’ The book, which Stallone still owns the rights to, is about a character aptly named Hunter, who is on a mission to track and stop a genetically engineered super soldier who is part animal. While not exactly involving an alien, the plot does call to mind ‘Predator,’ which could also be a clue given that Stallone suggested that ‘The Expendables 3’ might be a rip-off of one of Arnold Schwarzenegger’s movies.

Of course, ‘Hunter’ is reminiscent of numerous movies, including the Chuck Norris flick ‘Silent Rage,’ which would mean they have to bring back his scene-stealing “Lone Wolf” character. The drawback to having the sequel be an adaptation of ‘Hunter,’ though, is that it will be so obviously linked to ‘Predator,’ and we just got such a rehash officially with ‘Predators’ two years ago, and that film was a bit of a box office disappointment.

The third and clinching hint is that Nicolas Cage’s character in ‘The Expendables 3’ has been named as “Hunter” something or other. Of course, it’d be more fun if Cage plays the beastly villain, though I can also imagine the super soldier being one of the team’s own, maybe Jet Li or Mickey Rourke, both of who were absent from their last mission.

Now, here’s the other concern: will much of the ensemble be killed-off in the third (and final?) ‘Expendables’ movie if they go with a ‘Predator’-style story? It might be an interesting way of closing the book on the period this series is clinging to. Since ‘The Last Action Hero’ should have done that already, perhaps another cameo casting callback stunt could be Austin O’Brien as the latest young recruit. Statham can be the lone survivor and say the final line of “now I’m the last action hero.”

But let’s not get ahead of ourselves. For all we know, Stallone’s comment about turning towards another genre might actually mean the other common kind of side track for action heroes: comedy. More classifiable than this wisecracking, nudging series already is. Maybe the Schwarzenegger film they’ll be ripping off is ‘Kindergarten Cop.’ Imagine the team babysitting a bunch of toddlers. Or, maybe the sequel could put them all together with their mothers. Betty White can fill in as Stallone’s mom in place of the late Estelle Getty. We’ll let you all cast the rest of the old ladies.

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