Sequel Saturday: Even on TV We’re Expendable, by Mat Bradley-Tschirgi
Deadline reports that Sylvester Stallone is executive producing an “event series” for Fox as a spin-off of his popular Expendables film franchise. Event series really means miniseries in this case. Think back to what the SyFy Channel did with their Battlestar Galactica reboot. It started as a miniseries and then morphed into a full-fledged series a year or so later.
Stallone’s concept for the Expendables lends itself better to a TV series than to the movies. A group of mercenaries with quirky personalities take on missions for money while trying to redeem themselves from their dark pasts. They hope each job is their last. Yes, the tone of the flicks has veered from dour to goofy to an uneasy mix of the two, but the premise would work great for episodic television.
The real problem here is the lack of modern action movie stars that would appear in the TV series. You can expect Stallone or Statham reprising their characters as an extended cameo or two,but then who would the cast be? Every one of the movies were packed to the gills with 1980s and 1990s movie stars from Dolph Lundgren to Wesley Snipes.
When I think about modern action movie stars, the genre barely exists anymore. What roster for TV would deliver the shock and awe needed to make the show’s cast stand out? The other way to go about it would be to pick up a subplot from The Expendables 3. With the classic crew getting too many injuries, a new crew of up and coming faces would have to carry on the Expendables name. As long as the action is kept to a constant and the storylines are kept simple, the Expendables could live beyond its event series for years to come.
Yet things are early in development. We’ll see what comes to pass. They already have a killer theme song with the track “Diamond Eyes” by Shinedown featured so prominently in the marketing for the first film. As the lyrics said, “Everyone one of us is expendable!”