Bruce Willis had a brief and memorable cameo appearance in Sylvester Stallone’s The Expendables followed by a slightly expanded role in The Expendables 2. For Sly’s next near-senior citizen action outing The Expendables 3, Willis is out and his exit isn’t exactly on the best of terms with the franchise’s mastermind.
The news of Willis’ departure was first reported by Sly himself on Twitter for all his followers to read in all caps, “WILLIS OUT… HARRISON FORD IN !!!! GREAT NEWS !!!!! Been waiting years for this!!!!” At first glance it appears as if the “great news” bit is only related to Harrison Ford joining the ensemble cast. Then a second tweet popped up only a few minute later that read, “GREEDY AND LAZY …… A SURE FORMULA FOR CAREER FAILURE.”
In trying to read between the lines, it appears as if Sly and the film’s producers extended a deal to Willis that called for a smaller salary (the greed) and perhaps some physical fitness training (the lazy). Willis wanted nothing to do with it despite recently starring in two action films: A Good Day to Die Hard and Red 2. Perhaps he just wanted a break from running and gunning at the ripe age of 58.
For Ford, The Expendables 3 could serve as a launching pad into a rumored role in J.J. Abrams Star Wars Episode VII that begins shooting early next year. Production on The Expendables 3 is expected to take place this fall, leaving time for Ford to take a break over the holidays and jump back into an elder Han Solo role after New Years.
Lionsgate has already locked in The Expendables 3 for an August 15, 2014 release with Patrick Hughes handling directorial duties. Joining the loaded cast for the third installment are Jackie Chan and Nicolas Cage, with other big names like Wesley Snipes and Steven Seagal rumored to make some sort of an appearance.