Trivia / The Expendables

  • Actor Allusion: Lots:
  • All-Star Cast: Zig Zagged Trope. In casting the film, Stallone decided to go for actors who were past their glory days. No one is A-list material anymore, and some never were. But their names still cast long shadows. Per The Other Wiki:
    On his approach to casting, Stallone explained that he was looking particularly for actors who had not experienced recent significant success in film, saying: "I like using people that had a moment and then maybe have fallen on some hard times and give them another shot. So we’re always looking for actors like Michael Biehn and Michael Paré. I like those kinds of guys. Someone did it for me and I like to see if I can do it for them."
    • Also given a nod in the sequel, where the team watched new blood Billy The Kid running full-tilt up a slope and Christmas asks Ross:
    "Remember when you could do that?"
  • Bilingual Bonus: the Somali in the film is legitimate, hilarious Somali.
  • Classically Trained Extra: Not in the usual sense. General Garza's two bodyguards, who look mind-boggingly similar to one another? Twin MMA fighters Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira and Antonio Rogerio Nogueira, who at the time competed in the UFC alongside Randy Couture. Sadly, they're not seen in any hand-to-hand combat.
  • Directed by Cast Member: The film is directed by Stallone himself, though he would later step down from the director's chair for the sequels.
  • Dueling Movies: Was released around the same time as the film versions of the The A-Team, The Losers, and Red, as all four are very similar on the surface. Machete also covers similar ground.
  • Dueling-Stars Movie: May just displace Face/Off and Ocean's Eleven
  • Fake Nationality: The "Somali" pirates that don't even look remotely Somali.
  • Playing Against Type:
    • Many Dexter fans were surprised to see Angel Batista, one of the most consistently friendly, even-tempered, decent characters from that show, as a military dictator exploiting his island to fuel the drug trade.
  • Similarly Named Works: Not to be confused with a 1989 Vietnam War movie, a 2000 made-for-TV movie, or two musical bands (one American and one New Zealand) with the same name.
  • Throw It In!:
    • Bruce Willis ad-libbed his jab at both Arnold and Sylvester about going down on each other; Stallone was initially disgusted, as revealed in commentary, but the line set the scene so well that it was kept.
    • The seaplane was supposed to be an unarmed escape vehicle, but in between filming, Stallone noticed one of the crew climbing out from the nose hatch, learned that it was accessed from inside the plane, and was immediately inspired to turn the seaplane into a gunship.
  • What Could Have Been:
    • Jean-Claude Van Damme declined to be in the film, as he did not like the character Stallone had created for him, but he regretted his decision and went to appear in the sequel, whose villain was largely based on what Van Damme wanted to do with the character.
    • Steven Seagal was offered a cameo in the film, but he turned it down due to problems with producer Avi Lerner.
    • MMA fighter Anderson Silva was offered a cameo just like the Nogueira brothers.
    • Terry Crews' role was written with Wesley Snipes in mind. The role was almost filled by Forest Whitaker, but had to drop out due to scheduling conflicts. Snipes would end up appearing in the third film.
    • Kurt Russell and 50 Cent were offered parts but declined, and there are rumors that Chuck Norris and Bruce Campbell was approached as well. IMDb claims Danny Trejo, Denis Leary and Alan "Wash" Tudyk were approached for certain roles that were written out when they had scheduling conflicts. Stallone wanted all of them if he could so we aren't sure if he wanted the universe to explode.
  • Written-In Infirmity: Randy Couture's ear deformity is now Expendables canon.