Donnie Yen to Replace Jet Li in The Expendables 2?

Earlier this year we learned that Sylvester Stallone would not direct the follow-up to his ’80s action throwback The Expendables, and that Simon West (Con Air, The Mechanic) would be his replacement. Stallone will still be starring in the film, of course, but for the most part all of the current rumours and speculation seem to be focused on the multitude of other veteran action stars that may or may not be added for the sequel. Last month we heard that both Chuck Norris and John Travolta were possibilities, and Jean-Claude Van Damme is also believed to be in talks to play a villain in the film. So now with this added star power, the question is, just how expendable is the original cast of The Expendables? Would you be disappointed to learn that Jet Li might not be returning for part two?

Back in July, producer David Varod was the first to tell Novinite that Chuck Norris and John Travolta were on board. At the time, a few people also noticed that his list of confirmed cast members did not include Jet Li, although it was not clear if this was intentional or a mere oversight. IGN has since indicated that Jet Li is not returning, and that they are now in search of another action star with international appeal.

Twitch reported a couple of days ago that producer Avi Lerner had dinner with Donnie Yen and offered him a role in the film, and now it all makes perfect sense. Yen has already started taking over many of the kinds of roles that Jet Li once inhabited, and he would probably be a solid addition to the cast. But is he too tall to be on the receiving end of some classic Stallone short jokes? Yen has not yet accepted the offer and will reportedly wait to read the script before deciding. He better not make the same mistake Van Damme did the first time around! Would you be excited to see Donnie Yen in The Expendables 2?



  • swarez

    Yes I would love to see Yen in the film. I felt that they should have gone with him in the first one as he’s a much better suited for the role, speaks flawless english and is an incredible fighter. But I suppose it came down to viewers recognition. But I think it will come down to if his character has enough screen time as Yen is such a huge star in China that I’m not sure that he would accept a glorified cameo.

  • MikeH

    It would be cool if Norris got on board as well as Van Damme and even Steven Segal.

  • John Branch

    OH MAN Lone Wolf McQuade is coming back to the big screen? Where do I get my ticket! lol

  • With the addition of more big names to The Expendables, it would be nice if some of them actually WERE expendable, as I never got the sense in the first film that any of them were in any real danger whatsoever. I guess Mickey Rourke’s death kicks the story of this second one off, but it’s not like he did anything in the first one.

    I hope that Yen plays a new character (if you could call “token Asian guy” a character) or a possible foil for Li, if he comes back. If Jet Li or Terry “black guy” Crews or Randy “tough guy that knows how to read” Couture don’t return, it would still be nice if they at least got an offscren sendoff, whether it’s a throwaway line about them retiring or dying on a mission or something.

  • Gil

    This is funny, I can’t stand watching Jet Li or Donnie Yen in most films for the exact same reason.