Producers Les Weldon and Kevin King Templeton are back with another action-packed installment of The Expendables.
Reuniting as the team of elite mercenaries, Jason Statham, Dolph Lundgren, Randy Couture, and Sylvester Stallone are joined for the first time by 50 Cent, Megan Fox, Tony Jaa and Iko Iwais for the fourth installment.
Producers Les Weldon and Kevin King Templeton, who have been a part of all of The Expendables movies, spoke with rolling out about the latest film, which releases on Sept. 22.
How does it feel to have this fourth installment right now?
Les Weldon: This is the movie that we wanted to make the last time out, and we sort of went back to the roots of the project and made it for the fans without any worry about PG-13. Our idea was to get down in the trenches again and give the fans an Rated-R story that works.
What have you learned from the first movie to this one?
Kevin King Templeton: I think you learn from every movie. When it comes to the franchise, I think what we’ve learned from the third to the fourth is to stay with the core values of your fans, keeping it a rated-R, high-action movie instead of trying to dilute it with PG-13. I think that’s the biggest thing I got from the third to the fourth. You go into every movie with good intentions and hope it’s going to work. As Les says on this last one, we just wanted to go back to what we did with the original, no holds barred, no PG-13, [or] watering it down; just make it as fun as possible. This movie started out as an action-adventure, kind of whimsical, escapist movie, and from the first one, that’s what we tried to recreate because that’s what made the franchise what it is today.
How was it working with the new people on set, such as 50 Cent?
KT: This was my second movie working with 50 Cent, and he was a total pro. He knows how to promote, and he definitely fits in organically in this Expendables movie. He fit in perfectly with Randy Couture and with Dolph Lundgren, and as Les says, it’s all about the script. So you go for the actors once you have the script, and you don’t try [to] fit the actors [to] fit the story. You have a story first, and you go with the actors. Everyone new highlighted the core Expendables crew, elevated it a little bit, and just brought a freshness to it.