The Expendables 5 Dropping Stallone For Arnie Could Fix The Franchise

The Expendables 5 Dropping Stallone For Arnie Could Fix The Franchise

The Expendables 5 could freshen up the series by focusing on Arnold Schwarzenegger’s Trench instead of Sylvester Stallone’s Barney. The Expendables movies have gathered together some of action cinema’s most iconic heroes, but they’ve never quite lived up to their potential either. They’ve largely coasted off the stature of their casts while offering little invention in terms of action. The forthcoming Expendables 4 appears to be righting some of those wrongs, and it will focus on a smaller team led by Jason Statham’s returning hero Lee Christmas.

Stallone – who created the series and helmed the original – will still appear in the fourth outing, though his role will be significantly smaller. While Expendables 4 can restore some goodwill to the series after the mediocre third entry, it’s notably moving the sag away from its original mission statement with the lack of name action stars. That’s why a fifth Expendables movie should make Arnie’s rival merc Trench the focus, with the sequel following his team on a new mission. It can add some more icons to the line-up too, including past Expendables holdouts like Jackie Chan, Nic Cage or Donnie Yen.

Arnold Schwarzenegger Has Been Wasted In The Expendables (& Stallone Overused)

One of the major marketing elements of The Expendables involved a scene between Stallone, Arnie and Bruce Willis, marking the first time all three had appeared onscreen together. However, the latter two merely made cameos, and the sequence was little more than a fun novelty. Sadly, The Expendables trilogy never seemed to know what to do with Arnie’s Trench. He appeared to be a bitter rival to Barney in the first film, only for the sequels to make them bickering chums instead. The film’s also saddled him with some truly cringe-worthy quips, with Expendables 2 – where Jet Li dropped out early – being the worst offender.

Outside of the unconfirmed notion Trench was in a romantic relationship with Jet Li’s Yin Yang in the third film, the franchise wasted Schwarzenegger. In contrast, The Expendables often put too much focus on Barney. This makes sense given that Stallone was the main creative voice, but considering the ensemble nature of the premise, it would have been good to give the other major characters more to do. That’s why The Expendables 5 promoting Trench to a leading role would be exciting. It wouldn’t stray too far from previous outings, but it would give the next sequel a new angle to approach from.

Will Arnold Schwarzenegger Return To Expendables (& Is He In Expendables 4)?

Unless Schwarzenegger’s Trench is making a surprise cameo in Expendables 4 – which will co-star Megan Fox – he won’t be part of the 2023 sequel. The actor’s relationship with Stallone means he might not be interested in returning if his friend isn’t coming back too. That said, Arnie hasn’t played a major role in a movie since 2019’s Terminator: Dark Fate and The Expendables 5 could finally give Trench something meaty to do. The future of the series will depend on the reception to the fourth outing, but it’s time for The Expendables series to create some iconic action beats of its own instead of reliving its star’s former glories.


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