We reported yesterday that Bruce Willis had ditched the Expendables 3 and that Stallone had vented his spleen about in via Twitter. His tweeted Willis slur where he called the actor lazy, greedy and a failure gave a bit of a clue as to the apparent reason behind Willis’s departure. It turns out that it’s all about the money.
It turns out that Willis asked for $4 million for his four day consecutive shooting schedule in the Bulgarian location where they’ll be filming. For those of you whose math is a bit shaky, that works out to $1 million per day.
That may seem a bit exorbitant but the Expendables franchise has earned Stallone and Lionsgate a pretty penny or two. With a box office gross of nearly a billion dollars worldwide from both one and two in the series, Bruce’s demands don’t seem too out of place.
But Stallone doesn’t want to share the wealth. Willis, who is making more than enough money from all the other films that he’s been working on, obviously misjudged Stallone’s sense of camaraderie and esprit des corp. Stallone’s cash cow is the Expendables and he isn’t exactly setting the cinematic world on fire with his other projects.
So from the outside looking in, Bruce Willis’s departure from Expendables 3 appears to be all about the money. Or is it?
It may turn out that Willis made the demand to get out of the next Expendables film. There is no doubt that he’s a hot property at the moment and he may want to rest up before he starts work on his next starring vehicle Die Hardest that is due to hit screens in 2015.
According to a source who is close to the Expendables project, “He said he’d drop out unless he got $4 million. A million dollars a day. Stallone and everybody else involved said no.” This “insider” adds that Willis had not expected Sly could get a replacement “action figure” so soon after he left the production. The source added, “I think [Willis] was pretty surprised he was replaced in 72 hours by Harrison Ford – a better actor, a much nicer person and a more interesting direction for the film.”
But it may just be that this was what Willis wanted. Stallone will be happy with any new action icon that he can get on board and as Harrison Ford is on a career high at the moment, his tweet of excitement makes a great deal of sense. On August 6, Stallone initially tweeted, “WILLIS OUT… HARRISON FORD IN !!!! GREAT NEWS !!!!! Been waiting years for this!!!!”
He followed that tweet up with his veiled criticism of Willis, “GREEDY AND LAZY …… A SURE FORMULA FOR CAREER FAILURE.”
But the charge of lazy seems like so much sour grapes. Willis has been very busy this year and looking at his schedule for the remainder of the year and 2014, he’ll be working very hard; just not for Stallone.
Expendables 3 may have lost Bruce Willis and his departure may be all about the money, but Stallone will have enough new faces to keep audiences happy. Nicolas Cage, Wesley Snipes, Mel Gibson, and Milla Jovovich are just a few of the new actors who’ll be in the next film. And of course, Arnold Schwarzenegger, Jason Statham and Mickey Rourke will return for the sequel. Willis could also be welcomed back into the fold after Stallone has calmed down. Watch this space.
By Michael Smith