Why Jean Claude Van Damme Won't Be in The Expendables
We already know who's starring in Sylvester Stallone's The Expendables - Sly himself, Jason Statham, Jet Li, Dolph Lundgren, Randy Couture, and Mickey Rourke. It's essentially a who's who of cinematic badasses, give or take a few people, like Arnold Schwarzenegger or Jean Claude Van Damme (or even Chuck Norris). Arnold is no longer shooting films because he's the Governator, but we know that JCVD has been making a comeback, this year in particular. So why isn't he in this, too? Well guess what, JCVD was actually offered a role from Stallone, but he declined. Why, you ask? Thanks to Total Film, we know the real answer.
Van Damme claims that Stallone was just interested in pitching money and action, not story. We've heard that The Expendables will have a lot of action, but as for story, at this point, who cares if it doesn't have an Oscar worthy story? "Stallone gave me a part in his next movie," JCVD told Total Film. "But I ask him about the subject, about the story. He said, 'You're gonna make lots of money.' I don't want to hear that, I want to hear what was my character. He was unable to tell what it's going to be. [Stallone said:] 'You know, uh, well, the fighting will be good.' [So I said:] 'Sly, what is my character?' So I didn’t do the movie."
I gained a lot of respect for Van Damme after watching JCVD last year. It's not a great movie, but I respect him for telling his life story and expressing it in that way. But now I've lost some respect with this. Of course story is very important, but it seems like it was good enough to get all of those other names attached. However, I think JCVD has moved on from doing action movies and now wants something more. It would've been great to see him return for something like this, and I would've gained even more respect to see him do it, but oh well, it's got one hell of a cast anyway even without him. Was JCVD right in his claim?