No joke: Kelsey Grammer to replace Nicolas Cage in ‘The Expendables 3′

(CBR) When the official synopsis for The Expendables 3 was released last month, some previously mentioned names were absent from the cast list – most notably, Nicolas Cage, whose involvement was confirmed in June by Lionsgate.

Deadline now confirms that Cage is indeed out of the action film, to be replaced by Kelsey Grammer, who”s in talks to play Bonaparte, an ex-mercenary who helps the Expendables in their mission.

Grammer recently appeared with Expendables mastermind Sylvester Stallone in “Reach Me” and has a new TV series coming out from Lionsgate, both of which might have helped him land the role.

The film finds the team going up against a bad guy played by Mel Gibson, who has it out for his former colleagues. To combat his forces, Stallone”s Barney Ross recruits a new, younger group of Expendables to help defeat the threat.

“The Expendables 3” opens Aug. 15, 2014.