How Did The Fast Franchise Become the Expendables Franchise?


How Did the Fast Franchise Become the Expendables Franchise?

The Expendables came from the mind of Sylvester Stallone with the concept of bringing the biggest action stars together in one movie. While the franchise never seemed to take off on the level it had been imagined. It seems like the Fast Franchise has started to take over what was created. Today, I am going to look at how the two franchises crossed paths and took saw the crown change hands.

How did the Fast Franchise become the Expendables Franchise?

The Fast and The Furious – Small-Time Criminals

In 2001 a small action movie was made, The Fast and The Furious. It followed a cop going undercover in a street racing gang that were committing appliance theft. While on paper this was a reimagining of Point Break, it got to show off the fancy cars and created action stars out of Vin Diesel and Paul Walker.

However, when it came to the sequel, 2 Fast 2 Furious, only Paul Walker returned a Brian O’Connor, with a new set and new illegal ring. The franchise looked like it was ending when Justin Lin’s first film in the franchise Tokyo Drift. It introduced us to a host of new characters and gave us an alternative driving style. While the movie itself was fun the lack of connection left fans wondering what was next.

The Expendables Begins

In 2010 Sylvester Stallone brought together some of the biggest action stars for one movie. The list includes Jason Statham, Jet LI, Dolph Lundgren, Bruce Willis, Mickey Rourke, Arnold Schwarzenegger, and former sports stars turned actors, Randy Couture, Steve Austin and Terry Crews.

The first movie got mostly positive feedback, despite being almost too wink-wink with the audience. In the action, it was countless enemies outnumbered the elite soldiers using different specialities to win fights. It became a good vehicle to help put fresh life into some of the stars’ careers.

The Expendables 2 added more iconic action stars, Jean Claude Van Damme, and Chuck Norris and an increased role for Schwarzenegger. On the other side of things, they tried to give younger stars like Liam Hemsworth and Scott Adkins a chance to make a name for themselves around the mega-action stars. It continued the big action, wink-wink with the audience about certain famous lines and getting everything people were expecting out of it.

Fast & Furious Reborn

In 2009, Justin Lin returned to continue the adventures, this time he brings back the originals. Paul Walker, Vin Diesel, Jordana Brewster and Michelle Rodriguez. While the movie killed Letty off to bring Dom and Brian back together, it sees them starting to deal with a larger crime group of smugglers across the borders. The movie did keep the car side of things important, however, the action sequences felt more deadly.

Fast and Furious brought the core group back, Fast Five went one step further and brought the characters from the other movies back for a heist in Brazil. Tyrese Gibson, Ludacris, Sung Kang and Gal Gadot became members of the family for this job. The addition of Dwayne Johnson showed early signs of things to come, bringing in one of the biggest action stars in the industry.

In 2013, The Expendables hadn’t quite reached its potential. As Fast Five shone at the box office, you can see the change in style. This time Dom and the crew are working as specialists to capture a mercenary leading a group of criminals using high-speed cars to steal deadly weapons. They get recruited by Hobbs and we start seeing the cast getting larger, using names from combat sports such as Gina Carano. This was also the first film to show characters we thought were dead return.

The Expendables 3, Family Friendly

The Expendables 3 decided to make a big change to everything. It cut back the violence, cleaned up the language and got itself a 12a rating. This was done to try and bring in a larger audience and with an ever-increasing cast, we get that.

The new faces included Antonio Banderas, Wesley Snipes, Kelsey Grammer, Kellan Lutz, Ronda Rousey, Victor Ortiz, Glen Powell, Robert Davi, Mel Gibson and Harrison Ford. This made it the biggest cast to date. However, due to a couple of factors, the movie struggle to make money. The first was the leak of the movie a couple of weeks before the release. While the second was the big names not getting very much screen time. The tamer action didn’t help either, as fans of the stars were used to the wild action-packed movie.

The Billion Dollar Movie

Fast & Furious 7 brought a host of difficult situations for the franchise. The first was the change of direction, Justin Lin had been behind the wheel for the last 3 movies. Horror maestro James Wan took over directing. The next tragic problem they faced was Paul Walker’s sudden death.

The movie went through rewrites and re-shoots to finish the movie in his honour. Fast & Furious decided to commit to more big names, with Jason Statham, Kurt Russell, Tony Jaa and Djimon Hounsou joining the cast. It felt like the franchise was willing to commit to becoming the biggest action movie out there and the worldwide return made this the first movie to get more than one billionaire at the Box Office.

Egos Clash

Furious 7 made the franchise hit new heights, and The Fate of the Furious returned bigger once again. Charlize Theron stepped in for the next villain, while the movie continued its over-the-top action to make another billion dollars at the box office.

Despite the success a reported clash between Dwayne Johnson and Vin Diesel saw shooting difficulties with the pair refusing to work together. This would see Johnson leave the main franchise but did return in Hobbs & Shaw. The divide between the stars did see the box office return dip, while still being successful.

The Future

Fast 10 is due to hit the cinemas in a couple of weeks, seeing the latest addition to the franchise Jason Momoa. While The Expendables 4 is due out in 2023, with a bigger cast including Tony Jaa and Iko Uwais. Fast 10 looks to continue the outlandish action and we don’t know too much about the upcoming Expendables 4.

Passing the Baton

As we have seen The Expendables struggled to capture the magic of the action-star cast. It never managed to bring the fans what they were expecting from the stars who were known for their over-the-top action movies.

On the other side of the discussion, the Fast franchise was struggling to find its footing after the first three movies. Once they decided to move away from the small crimes and into international operations. They took on the big over-the-top action gap that was left behind. If you were to ask most action fans which one, they would enjoy the most, it would be the wacky Fast franchise. The franchise that took the ball and ran with it.

This is How Did the Fast Franchise Become the Expendables Franchise?

Do you think the Fast Franchise has become everything The Expendables wanted to be?

Leave a Reply Cancel reply