After The Expendables 3 was a huge letdown at the box office (but hardly in terms of a quality, ridiculous orgy of action movie nostalgia), Sylvester Stallone vowed that he would make sure that The Expendables 4 would be a return to Rated R violence and beautiful stupidity. Sure, there are plenty of critics who would say that he and Lionsgate should just call it a franchise and move on, but this is Stallone’s post-prime legacy, DAMN IT. So not only is he still hellbent on bringing the whole gang back – possibly including Jean-Claude Van Damme playing his dead character’s twin brother – but now Stallone is expanding the Expendables universe into television.
In what is far and away the best TV news of the week, Fox and Stallone are teaming up to create an “event series” for The Expendables that will feature some of the biggest action TV characters in their own adventure based on the film series.
Writing/executive producing the TV adaptation are feature writing duo Greg Coolidge (Ride Along) & Kirk Ward and Brennan. It is described as a fun action drama that unites iconic TV stars as a new team of highly-skilled heroes who are on a mission to stop a dangerous terrorist. (Via Deadline)
Now, the billion dollar question – which characters are going to be involved in this spectacular madness? Will we see a 24 crossover with Jack Bauer coming out of hiding yet again to save the world? Will this adventure be too much for him and require him to reach out to the far corners of the Earth to find the heroes who saved us all from evil long before he went 24 hours at a time without pooping or showering? WE SHOULD F*CKING HOPE SO. And I know just the ragtag crew of ’80s badasses that Bauer should call on to kick the bad guy’s butt and save a few babes with righteous feathered hair.
The Obvious Choices
I’m not even sure some of these guys would be willing to participate, but they’re the most important characters.
Magnum P.I. (Tom Selleck), Magnum P.I.
MacGyver (Richard Dean Anderson), MacGyver
Michael Knight (David Hasselhoff), Knight Rider
B.A. Baracus (Mr. T), The A-Team
Randolph J. “Hurricane” Spencer (Hulk Hogan), Thunder in Paradise
Reno Raines (Lorenzo Lamas), Renegade
Yes, Renegade was on in the 90s, but the idea was straight out of the 80s. And I’m writing this directly at Lamas – no glorious mane of man hair, no role. You got that, pal? This is non-negotiable. That hair is more important than your dumb motorcycle. Also, no conversation about awesome 80s action TV series is complete without Jan-Michael Vincent in Airwolf, but that dude is not doing so hot. We’re all gonna let him sit this one out. (And RIP Edward Woodward, star of The Equalizer.)
The Dynamic Duos
You could make an argument for splitting one or two of these pairs up, but they’re not the Rockers. You want Shawn Michaels, you’re getting Marty Jannetty.
Crockett and Tubbs (Don Johnson and Philip Michael Thomas), Miami Vice
Bo and Luke Duke (John Schneider and Tom Wopat), The Dukes of Hazzard
Rick and A.J. (Gerald McCraney and Jameson Parker), Simon & Simon
Jon and Ponch (Larry Wilcox and Erik Estrada), CHiPs
“Remington Steele” and Laura Holt (Pierce Brosnan and Stephanie Zimbalist), Remington Steele
Cagney and Lacey (Tyne Daly and Sharon Gless), Cagney & Lacey
Don’t roll your eyes at the ladies. I’d take Cagney and Lacey as my backups over almost any TV cops ever to wear fake badges.
The Supporting Squad
We might love some of these guys, but they can’t carry an action team. They’re best suited for showing up like Chuck Norris in The Expendables 2. Quick and easy demolition and slaughter, and then, “Peace out, AARP magazine wants me for a cover story!”
Vinnie Terranova (Ken Wahl), Wiseguy
T.J. Hooker (William Shatner), T.J. Hooker
Rick Hunter (Fred Dryer), Hunter
Colt Seavers (Lee Majors), The Fall Guy
Without breaking off on too strange of a tangent, if he were even 20 years younger, I’d have Majors leading the charge as Colt Seavers. When you think of all of the famous TV vehicles that defined their characters, that GMC truck of his never gets the credit it deserves.
The Comic Relief
Even the best action heroes needed humor to remind us that they weren’t in real danger.
Sledge Hammer (David Rasche), Sledge Hammer!
Steve Urkel (Jaleel White), Family Matters
Buddy Lembeck (Willie Aames), Charles in Charge
Gordon Shumway, ALF
The Fonz (Henry Winkler), Happy Days
Obviously, there will be a scene involving sharks, and the only way The Expendables can get through them is for the Fonz to jump them on water skis and pull a lever that instantly boils the water and cooks the sharks. And no, there won’t be a Sharknado in this. Don’t ask stupid questions about something so serious.
The Super Powers
These guys have unique, inhuman abilities. That’s not really fair to the bad guys, unless The Expendables are fighting Skeletor and Cobra Commander. Wait, is that an option? Please do that.
Dr. Sam Beckett (Scott Bakula), Quantum Leap
Ralph Hinkley (William Katt), The Greatest American Hero
Dr. Jonathan Chase (Simon MacCorkindale), Manimal
Duncan MacLeod (Adrian Paul), Highlander
Hercules (Kevin Sorbo), Hercules: The Legendary Journey
Obviously, this list is incomplete, and I welcome you all to fill in the blanks. In the meantime, I will make it perfectly clear to Fox and Stallone, if he can look beyond my feud with his brother, that I am available to write this entire series. All 20 or 30 seasons of it.