Unleashing the Inside Scoop: Expendables 4 Director Talks Film’s Distinctiveness, Draws Parallels to John Wick, and Delves into Jason Statham’s Combat Techniques

It seems like the latest addition to the “Expendables” series is a final attempt to revive star-powered action movies. Nowadays, audiences are more drawn to familiar franchises rather than individual actors. Despite this trend, the franchise still manages to bring together some of the biggest names in action movies, despite getting mixed reviews from critics. Even after a disappointing third film that didn’t follow the traditional R-rating, the series is back with a vengeance under the direction of Scott Waugh. This time around, Sylvester Stallone is stepping back to let Jason Statham’s character take the lead, bringing a new level of violence to the screen. In a recent interview, Waugh discussed the impact of movie stars, how his film compares to other action movies, and even revealed a surprising connection to the world of Spider-Man.

There is currently a lot of online discussion regarding the diminishing power of movie stars to attract audiences. Despite the continued success of actors like Tom Cruise, Denzel Washington, and Margot Robbie, it seems that the industry is experiencing a shift. However, as someone who has had the pleasure of working with Jackie Chan, John Cena, and the cast of “Expendables,” I believe that many actors still aspire to be movie stars. Unfortunately, due to an ongoing strike, these actors are currently unable to fulfill their potential, resulting in a loss for audiences. In my opinion, the presence of movie stars remains essential, and I hope to see more of them in the future.

As an individual who has been involved in the action genre since a young age, the opportunity to join the “Expendables” franchise was an incredible experience. Working alongside iconic action heroes like Sylvester Stallone was a dream come true, and being offered the chance to direct “Expendables 4” was both humbling and exhilarating. My background in stunts allowed me to seamlessly integrate into the franchise, and it was a natural fit when the opportunity arose. Sly had been eager to collaborate with me since “Act of Valor,” and we finally found a project to work on together.

I must say that watching Jason fight is truly awe-inspiring.

The concept of stunt performers transitioning into directors gained popularity following the success of “John Wick,” directed by David Leitch and Chad Stahelski. They attributed their expertise in stunts to their ability to create thrilling action sequences. This was also the case for me during my debut as a director in “Act of Valor” in 2012, where I aimed to showcase the action from my unique perspective. I am thrilled to see more action filmmakers emerging, and I believe that stuntmen bring a distinct viewpoint to the craft.

Working on “Expendables 4,” I was impressed by the talented cast’s willingness to perform their own stunts. It is incredible to witness Sylvester Stallone and Jason Statham still doing their stunts on set. Jason’s fighting style is a delight to watch, with his precision and powerful form making him an ideal actor to design fights for. The franchise’s high-octane action remains grounded, which is crucial in keeping its authenticity intact.

The upcoming fourth installment of “Expendables” is being compared to other popular action franchises, including “Mission: Impossible,” “Fast & Furious,” and “John Wick.” Despite the comparisons, the director believes that “Expendables” sets itself apart by focusing on a more grounded approach to action rather than sensationalism. Staying true to the ’80s-style hardcore action that fans love was a priority for “Expendables 4,” with the director incorporating fresh set pieces and choreography. To keep things moving, fighting scenes involving vehicles and motorcycles were added. Collaboration between actors and the director was crucial during filming, with the goal of delivering something new and exciting for the audience.

Honestly, I can’t recall ever witnessing a motorcycle chase on a moving ship’s deck before. Our goal was to create a unique scene that would leave the audience in awe and wondering, “Wow, I’ve never seen that before.” That’s why we opted for a motorcycle chase on an aircraft carrier with installed guns – it’s one of our signature moves in “Expendables 4.” As a filmmaker and stuntman, reading action on paper can be a challenge. Typically, I know where the action will start and end, then use my imagination to add a fresh and original twist. When directing, I always strive to push boundaries and use the location creatively. Lastly, we debated whether to stick to PG-13 rating or return to a hard R.

The “Expendables” series is famous for its high-octane action scenes, but the third movie took a different approach with a PG-13 rating. However, the director of “Expendables 4,” Patrick Hughes, wanted to go back to the franchise’s original roots with a hard R rating. He wanted to create intense moments that might make some viewers uneasy, but would excite the fans. Thankfully, the studio did not object to this idea as they understood the franchise’s brand and the audience’s expectations. Hughes, who has a strong connection with Spider-Man, hopes to direct a Spider-Man movie in the future. His father played the original Spider-Man in the 1976 show, and they both worked on Sam Raimi’s Spider-Man movie. Although they did not participate in stunts, he cherishes the memories and looks forward to directing a Spider-Man film someday. Catch “Expendables 4” in theaters now.

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