If you thought the action movie genre was dead, then you clearly weren't at The Expendables 2 panel at Comic-Con 2012. Amidst cheers from a standing audience, Geoff Boucher from the LA Times brought out writer and star Sylvester Stallone with cast members Terry Crews, Randy Couture, Dolph Lundgren and the Governator himself, Arnold Schwarzenegger.
Together, the panel discussed how the first Expendables film was a tribute to the past era of action movie stars and now, Stallone is "just trying to keep it going and bring back some true badness." So what sets the sequel apart from the first movie? Stallone promises us that The Expendables 2 will be even better, especially now that each of their characters and personalities have been established.
Also, this movie would hopefully reignite interest in the old-school action movie genre. Today's stars have what Stallone calls "velcro muscles," where they "don't have to spend their lives pumping iron"--which is totally okay, he reminded us. He was jealous of today's action stars who can do even more with CG help: "Each generation has to create their own heroes. Each generation will come and redefine what they like and who they adore."
Regardless of today's generation, the love for Sly, Arnold, Dolph and the others is still going strong. And Comic-Con was determined to remind you of it, especially when they rolled a tribute montage for Sly and Arnold before they came out on stage. (Note to self: always pump up an audience by playing a fast-paced explosion-filled video montage right before you walk on.)
The highlight of the panel was the clear bromance between Sly and Arnold, who bantered throughout the session about their ongoing competition ("Sly killed 288 people. I killed 289 people! Yay!"). The former governor of California also spent time expressing his gratitude and appreciation on returning to acting after an 8 year hiatus. "All the fun things, I didn't forget. You wish you could do some of those things while you're in politics."
Other highlights include:
- Terry Crews' disbelief that he had the chance to work with the same action stars he used to idolize: "I played 7 years in the NFL and what we used to do the night before each game, we'd sit and watch these guys' movies...To be on this stage, to be in a movie with them...I'm from Flint, MI. I should be in jail. And here I am, with these guys."
- Arnold's open affection for Terry: "I told you that we worked together 12 years ago on The 6th Day, your first movie. And you have gained unbelievable muscle size [Terry flexes] and to see you now. I walked into the gym in Bulgaria where you were working out, and saw your muscles and your definition and your body fat...what is it? 6%? It's really amazing to watch you gain this muscle mass and your acting ability is incredible, so I'm very proud." (BTW, Terry said his body fat percentage was around 4.5.)
- Randy Couture on his new acting career: "It's a big hurtle to go from mix martial arts and being a professional athletes to acting. I think I'm still looking for that hurtle to overcome and this movie is a big step in the right direction."
- Sly reminiscing about the time Dolph punched him so hard that he ended up in a hospital. Dolph only shrugged and said, "He was my boss. He said hit me and I did."
- Arnold yelling out random quotes from his past movies, including "I'm back," "It's not a tumor" and "WHO IS YOUR DADDY AND WHAT DOES HE DO?"
- Arnold outing Stallone as an "extraordinary artist." And his response? "We've killed thousands of guys but we're really painters."
- And how is it different working on an action movie than before? Arnold explained that now that they're older, they "move a little slower." The methods of training are more into stretching and "trying to keep as limber as I can." And at night, "we had to put a lot of ice on your knees, and your hips. Your body doesn't recuperate like when you were 30. You have to pace yourself. Just be more thoughtful."
- Yes, there are plans for a Twins sequel.
The Expendables 2 will be out in theaters on August 17th, 2012.