SUNDANCE – Woody Allen turned up at a surprise Sundance panel to reveal he is to write, direct and star in The Expendables 4, taking over from Sylvester Stallone.
Stallone, who was also in attendance said he would stay on board as an executive producer but added he was delighted to have the 79 year old Jewish comedian take the reigns.
After the panel, Stallone told the Studio Exec EXCLUSIVELY:
You know how it is, anyone who saw The Expendables 3 can tell that the formula was getting tired, but I still wanted the characters to move on. I got talking to Woody one afternoon because we go to the same chiropodist in New York. Anyway I had these terrible corns and was in the waiting room thinking of how I was going to rescue the franchise and in limped Woody.
Woody Allen takes over the telling of the tale:
I’ve always wanted to do something different; push myself. And the kind of gung-ho action thriller that Sly does is in itself a craft and a craft I’ve yet to learn, so I jumped at the chance. You see a filmmaker is like a shark, if you don’t move forward, you’re Brett Ratner.
I knew Woody for a long time. When I was a struggling actor, Woody cast me as a street thug in Bananas. A lot of us young guys got a break from Woody so I thought it was great to pay him back. And the other thing is Woody brings a great sense of humor to everything he does and I think Expendables 4 needs a lighter touch. Expendables 3 was too dark, I think we can all agree on that.
What do you want to do with the story?
WA: I don’t want to change too much. Sly is going to have a cameo where he explains to the guys that I’m taking over. I’m obviously not a muscle man, like Sly or Arnie, so they’re going to call my the Hipster, I’m deadly with a one-liner and a crossbow. I also have these glasses that kind of pull apart and then put back together again as a grenade launcher.
SS: Oh oh. Spoiler Alert.
WA: Oh Jeez. I’m sorry. I can’t believe I said that. Yeah, but then basically explosions, mayhem and an amazing stair lift sequence. It’s like the cable cars in Where Eagles Dare.
The Expendables 4 will be released in 2016.