Megan Fox will play a major role in The Expendables 4, but this doesn’t make up for the wasted potential of the franchise’s canceled all-female spinoff. The mission statement of the Sylvester Stallone-created Expendables movie franchise was to unite some of the greatest action stars in the genre. On this score, it gathered together Bruce Willis, Jet Li, Arnold Schwarzenegger and many more, but the first three entries notably lacked any major female icons as part of the тιтular group.

The Expendables 2 featured Yu Nan as Maggie while The Expendables 3 had Ronda Rousey’s Luna, but those were very much supporting roles. What devotees of the series wanted was to see the likes of Sigourney Weaver, Michelle Yeoh or Milla Jovovich make appearances, but the films instead focused almost exclusively on male action icons. The Expendables 4 is shaking up the franchise formula somewhat, largely eschewing bringing in action luminaries in favor of a smaller ensemble, with Megan Fox’s Gina playing a key role.

The Canceled Expendabelles Was An All-Female Spinoff

Around the time The Expendables 3 was released, it emerged that an all-female spinoff dubbed The Expendabelles was in development. While this sounded promising on paper, excitement about the project cooled significantly when a logline revealed the planned story (via Deadline), which involved “the world’s ᴅᴇᴀᴅliest female operatives” posing as Sєx workers to infiltrate a despot’s island. The backlash to this premise was so swift that franchise producers Millennium claimed this logline was actually inaccurate, and they released a more generic synopsis revolving around a female mercenary group.

Not much was heard about The Expendabelles in the years that followed, with the project being quietly canned. This was due to Millennium being unable to crack a storyline that explained why it had to be a strictly female group, and that the next Expendables could instead feature more female team members. Fox appears to be a co-lead of The Expendables 4 alongside the returning Jason Statham, while Levy Tran (MacGyver) will play another new team member named Lash.

Megan Fox In Expendables 4 Doesn’t Make Up For The Expendabelles Cancelation

The first logline for The Expendabelles was terrible, and if the best concept Millennium could think of was to have the cast pose as scantily-clad Sєx workers, it was clear they needed a new take. Casting Fox and Tran for The Expendables 4 is a definite step in the right direction, but it still doesn’t make up for the franchise’s lax treatment of female characters. It appears the series withheld reaching out to actors like Weaver or Charlize Theron because of the notion of making a female-led offshoot someday.

Assuming a fifth Expendables does happen, the series could still swing back around to this premise. Having Statham and maybe another returning cast member teaming up with a mostly female mercenary unit could be exactly the kind of shakeup the saga needs. The Expendables 4 doesn’t have a very high bar to jump over to improve on the lackluster third entry, but if it’s going to continue, it needs to evolve. The Expendables 5 featuring some female action icons could do exactly that.

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