Following the success of The Expendables last year ($274 million worldwide) a sequel moved swiftly into development and Simon West, who most recently directed The Mechanic, as well as Con Air and Lara Croft: Tomb Raider, came on-board to direct.
Now Deadline reports that Arnold Schwarzenegger and Bruce Willis, who appeared briefly in the first film, “have just closed deals to take “substantial” roles” in the sequel.
Following the release of The Expendables Sylvester Stallone told his Twitter followers that he wanted Bruce Willis to be a “super villain” in the next film so, unless things have changed, he’ll be the bad guy. In the original Willis had a cameo as “Mr. Church,” a shadowy figure who sends Sly and his team of mercs on their mission. Arnold Schwarzenegger played a rival mercenary leader called Trent Mauser who let Sly and co. take the mission because he had other things to take care of.
Aside from Stallone, original cast members Jason Statham, Dolph Lundgren, Mickey Rourke, Jet Li and Terry Crews are expected to return. Jean-Claude Van Damme confirmed he’ll be part of the film after declining a role in the first film, and there’s talk of Chuck Norris also joining the ranks.
Filming will begin in October and Lionsgate are aiming for an August 2012 release.