10 Directors For The Expendables 4
Previous Experience: Die Hard, Predator, Die Hard With a Vengeance, The Hunt for Red October, Last Action Hero.
Big John recently got out of prison because of a bogus charge, and he's struggling to revive his career proper. I firmly believe that he is the perfect man for Expendables 4, as his previous experience shows he's wonderful when it comes to staging fun, violent, R-rated action sequences.
Moreover, McT can handle ensembles. Predator was his second feature film, and it had one of the best casts known to man, yet the man handled himself admirably. He'd know how to make good use of the cast amid the action scenes, and since he was weaned on old-school sensibilities, there's a good chance he'd push for blood squibs and real stunts, not digital shite.
There have been talks about the possibility of Big John doing EX4, but it really needs to be a reality. Sly, give the dude a call!
Previous Experience: Apocalypto, Braveheart, Passion of the Christ.
Although Lord Mel has not helmed anything like The Expendables before, it's his sensibilities that we would all appreciate. Blood squibs, plenty of violence, sturdy camerawork, and above all an auteur approach. If the Expendables franchise is to continue, it needs a fresh auteur vision, not a bland paint-by-numbers vision by some committee of producers. Give Lord Mel plenty of creative freedom, and we'd have a perfect 10/10 movie on our hands. Honestly, what have the producers got to lose after the total failure of Expendables 3?
Mel was offered the directorial duties on EX3, but he declined, probably because Sly had the melancholy duty of informing him they were shooting for a pussified PG-13 blockbuster with 20 producers. And let's face it, Mel couldn't have made much of that material as it was. But give Mel the gig from the word "go," let him develop the story & script, and the results would be too good to be true.
Previous Experience: Kiss Kiss Bang Bang, Iron Man 3, The Nice Guys.
Yes, Shane Black has only directed two movies, but he has been an action guy since the 1980s. Here is a man who starred in the original Predator, wrote classic movies like The Last Boy Scout, Lethal Weapon and The Long Kiss Goodnight, and knows how to deliver pure unadulterated FUN.
Black would be able to give the Expendables franchise something it hasn't had up until now: genuine style. Black showed with Kiss Kiss Bang Bang that he has a knack for stylish, slick visuals and knows how to pace a movie. Moreover, if Black is given control over the script, the one-liners and bantering would be amazing. I've had a few laughs over the course of the series, but sometimes it seems the writing is just trying too hard to be funny. Black's writing doesn't do that. He showed with Iron Man 3 he can do big action and have genuine stakes while having fun along the way.
Added to this, Black could shake up the formula a bit. I don't mean he should imprint the series with voiceover narration or anything, but he can play around with the characters a bit more, and maybe devise a more interesting story. EX4 would be in fine hands with Black on-board as writer/director.
Previous Experience: The Raid, The Raid 2, Merantau.
There had to be at least one youngblood on this list. It's a long shot, but methinks Evans would be a top-notch choice, as long as he was given the creative control necessary to make an awesome flick.
The Expendables movies have always featured decent but unmemorable fight scenes, marred by their American sensibilities. Imagine if Evans brought some of his Raid cast on-board, and staged some insanely awesome close-combat battles in between awesome shootouts. It'd be amazing!
Evans is gonna be busy for the next few years, but who knows what can happen.
Previous Experience: RoboCop, Total Recall, Black Book, Starship Troopers.
Verhoeven needs to make more movies. I miss his heyday when he'd create beautiful ultraviolent action movies, with blood squibs all over the place. Even his recent WWII drama Black Book showed that Verhoeven still has what it takes.
Giving him the reigns to EX4 would guarantee hard R from the start, and he'd be able to handle the ensemble properly and give the movie a strong vision.
Previous Experience: 48 HRS, Extreme Prejudice, Bullet to the Head, The Warriors, Red Heat, Last Man Standing, Undisputed, many more...
Well, what else is there to be said? Walter Hill is a legend, and showed with Bullet to the Head that he still has what it takes to make an awesome action movie. Extreme Prejudice was pretty much the Expendables of the 80s, and it's awesome. That's the kind of movie we want from EX4 - something like Extreme Prejudice, which makes good use of the ensemble, has violent action, and an interesting plot.
Above all, Hill could make the film dark, and turn the Expendables team into the antiheroes they always have been. It's a moral grey area that really needs to be exploited, and Hill could bring it out beautifully.
Previous Experience: Hard Boiled, A Better Tomorrow, The Killer, Face/Off, Hard Target, many more...
Woo is another cult favourite, and talks of a Woo-directed Expendables pic have been floating around for years. I believe Woo was at one stage talking about making an instalment set in China, but the producers weren't willing to give him the artistic control that he desired.
This brings us back to the auteur theory. Guys, your committee-designed pap is not working anymore. EX3 wanted to be a Fast & Furious clone, and the result was a clean, paint-by-numbers, boring film which wasted its insane cast. What you need is to hire a dude like Woo and let him & Sly plan something amazing from the ground upwards. I mean, not all of Woo's tendencies are awesome - the doves motif would be horrific in an EX4 - but the man deserves a chance.
Previous Experience: The Mad Max franchise.
This is a bit of a left-field choice, but let me explain. After an extended period of absence, Miller is back with a vengeance for a brand new Mad Max, which looks to be the most amazing action movie of the year. Best of all, he's kept CGI to an absolute minimum, preferring real sets and real stuntman. It looks like a freaking movie, not some digital blockbuster. It's that beautiful celluloid look that we want for our EX4.
It goes without saying that Miller is great with action. He'd be able to give the franchise a spark of energy with some high-octane car chases, that's for damn sure.
Previous Experience: The Lethal Weapon series, 16 Blocks, The Goonies.
I like Richard Donner. He's done great work in the industry for years, and I think he'd be a nice choice to helm an EX4. He stages violent action scenes with finesse, and even his PG-13 16 Blocks was more watchable and entertaining than most PG-13 actioners from the past few decades.
He's definitely getting on in years and he'd probably need some convincing, but I'm confident he could do a good job.
Previous Experience: Die Hard 2, Cliffhanger, Deep Blue Sea, The Long Kiss Goodnight.
Um, yeah, I know that Harlin hasn't done anything worthwhile for a while, and his Hercules movie was just fucking boring. But if he was given a better script and a decent budget, surely he'd be able to put together an enormously entertaining action fiesta. Plus, he is one of those old-school directors from the 90s whose name would make sense attached to the project. We've had Simon West and Stallone, why not Harlin?
Harlin wouldn't be my first preference, but I'd prefer him over some other hacks.
These guys would be ideal.