Posted: 7/16/2010 7:04:27 PM
Interesting, Van Damme and Seagal were offered roles, along with Kurt Russel.
Jean-Claude Van Damme was personally offered a role by Stallone, but turned it down because he felt there was no substance to his character. Stallone said of Van Damme "He told me, you should be trying to save people in South Central." This reportedly led to Dolph Lundgren being cast instead although it is not confirmed whether it was the same part. The role accepted by Forest Whitaker was originally conceived as a role for Stallone's Demolition Man co-star Wesley Snipes but later rewritten for Whitaker. Due to a scheduling conflict prior to filming, Whitaker was replaced by 50 Cent for the role of Hale Caesar. He was then replaced by former NFL player Terry Crews.
Steven Seagal was asked to play a cameo role, but turned down the offer due to negative experiences with producer Avi Lerner. Actor Danny Trejo was rumored to play Emmanuel, but on June 15, he revealed that he was not cast for the role. Instead, both are in the works for Robert Rodriguez's Machete.
By May 2009, the script had undergone a number of re-writes, in which Chris Hemsworth was written out. Stallone's Demolition Man co-star Sandra Bullock was rumored to have a role in the film, but revealed that she did not even know about the project. Despite the news, she did express interests in working in another action film and would have liked to appear in the film depending on the storyline.
The role of the man who hires the Expendables, Mr. Church, was very difficult to cast. Initially offered to Schwarzenegger, he declined in favor of a smaller cameo due to his political career. The role was then offered to Kurt Russell whose agent replied that he was not interested in "ensemble acting at the moment." Stallone spent several months after principal photography determined to find a big action name for the part. Rumors suggested that the role had been offered to friend and fellow former Planet Hollywood co-owner Bruce Willis, who was busy filming Cop Out. Willis' casting as Mr. Church was confirmed by August 2009, as was the fact that he would appear in a scene with both Sylvester Stallone and Arnold Schwarzenegger.
On October 26, Stallone, Willis and Schwarzenegger shot their scene in the Hollywood Presbyterian church in Los Angeles, marking the first time all three have appeared together on screen.