Because Fully Automa’amtic, High Oc-dames, and Gatling Girls were apparently already taken, Millennium Films decided to call its all-female Expendables spinoff The ExpendaBelles. That decision made—and presumably discussed in several meetings with a completely straight face—Millennium then proceeded to hire the director and screenwriters of Legally Blonde, to give the film the grit and gravitas it deserved.
Then a few months went by and everybody forgot about The ExpendaBelles except for Sylvester Stallone, who told reporters at the premiere of The Expendables 3 that he was eyeing Sigourney Weaver for the lead role. He hen mused, “Do we put all women actresses together…or do we have some women who are actually really known to be tough fighters?”
Considering no one seems too concerned with whether Sly can snap a man’s neck with his bare hands in real life, that seems like an unnecessary concern, but whatever. Apparently Stallone was just thinking out loud, because not only did Weaver pass on the role, she passed on it so emphatically as to reduce it to an aside in a Hollywood Reporter story about her signing on for another movie. And with Katee Sackhoff and Gina Carano reportedly already committed to a rival all-female action squad, The ExpendaBelles may be in trouble.
Perhaps Weaver’s passing is because the film’s synopsis until very recently contained reference to our heroines posing as “high-class call girls,” a trope that went out with the drive-in. But even the new version is similarly old-fashioned:
“[An] elite group of highly trained female mercenaries…brought together for a covert hostage rescue mission. Once they are behind enemy lines, the women discover that they will also need to topple an evil dictator bent on world domination.”
All that premise is missing is a shower scene, a lesbian warden, and Pam Grier. So just cut the crap and hire Pam Grier already, Millennium.