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In Hall H at San Diego Comic-Con, “The Expendables 2” panel meant more than just another Q&A with a movie cast and a clip. This was a meeting of legends.
Both Sylvester Stallone and Arnold Schwarzenegger took the stage at the convention to a montage of their greatest hits and rapturous applause. Joined by Terry Crews, Randy Couture and Dolph Lundgren, the action stars fielded questions and shared stories about their experiences making the “Avengers” of old-school action movies.
Here’s what we learned at the panel.
No Velcro Muscles
Stallone took the stage first. Speaking with Geoff Boucher from the Los Angeles Times, the Italian Stallion explained why he felt that the action genre needed this all-star meet-up. Velcro muscles have taken over action, he said, referring to the superheroes and CGI-enhanced tough guys of today. What Stallone always wanted for “Expendables” was a more tangible action flick.
Sly Versus Arnie
Not long after his introduction from Stallone, Schwarzenegger began playfully teasing his co-star and former rival. The two action stars briefly compared body counts. When a fan asked Stallone which of Schwarzenegger’s movies he liked best, Sly deadpanned, “Junior.”
After eight years away from acting, Schwarzenegger has returned to the action genre, and it sounds like he couldn’t be happier. On the set of “Expendables 2,” the stunt crew felt a little obligated to reintroduce Schwarzenegger to the finer points of pulling a punch and loading a gun, but as filming progressed, the skills started to come back to him. He said he was able to get out his aggression and cut off heads, something he’s wanted to do in politics.
A Young Terry Crews Meets Arnold
Crews shared a story that really put his experience on the panel into perspective. For his first movie, he starred alongside Schwarzenegger in “The 6th Day.” Obviously, he’s come a long way. Schwarzenegger remembered meeting Crews on the set of the 2000 film and complimented his muscles development since then. Ecstatic, Crews said, “I can die now. Arnold liked my muscles.”
Not Quite “The Dependables”
“The Expendables” has a quality that Stallone describes as “male-pattern badass.” The age of the members of the panel came up several times during questioning, but everyone took it in stride.
Stallone and Schwarzenegger discussed staying huge at their age. When a fan asked if a specific line in “Rambo: First Blood Part II” was the inspiration for the title “Expendables,” Stallone said it was and that he preferred it to his other option, “The Dependables.”