Collider and /Film (shout-out to Russ Fischer) are reporting that Schatzi Schwarzenegger and Gemini Croquetts contest winner Bruce Willis have signed on the line which is dotted for expanded Expendables gigs. They join rumored newcomers JCVD and Fuck Norris, and all of the returning beasts (Sly, Turkish, and our beloved Dwayne Elizondo Mountain Dew Herbert Camacho, among others).

The Heroic Trio in the glory days - seen here with...I believe that's STEVEN SEAGAL.

But one of the more interesting casting decisions is not getting quite as much ink – Scott Adkins has also joined Expendables 2 this day. Adkins is a totally awesome beast, and while I’m inclined to think his role will be a lot like Gary Daniels’s bit in the first film, this kind of exposure could be huge for a really great performer who’s been slugging it out in low budget actioners long enough. You rule, Scott Adkins – welcome to the big leagues.

In case you weren't quite sure, I can confirm that Scott Adkins can indeed KILL YOU.

I’ve seen a lot of sentiment on the internet (senternet?) along the lines of – “Why the hell would people want a sequel to that shitty movie?” Perhaps I’ve an insight…

I remember that there were three films of varying degrees of hype that opened on August 13th, 2010. Eat Pray Love, The Expendables, and Scott Pilgrim. When the critical assessments began to flow, they were middling to negative for Eat and Expendables, and near rapturous for Scott Pilgrim. I had no interest in the Julia Roberts film, but I saw Expendables and Scott Pilgrim back to back on opening day. Walking out of the second film of our double feature, I remarked to my friends (all of whom enjoyed The Expendables far more than I did), “If people wanted a real romantic comedy – they should’ve done Scott Pilgrim. And if people wanted a real action movie – they should’ve done Scott Pilgrim.”

Unfortunately, I knew the film to beat that weekend was the bit of chick-lit/beach read-based comfort food. And despite the fact that I wanted my precious Edgar Wright to find success with his new project – there was a part of me that wouldn’t have minded one iota if a bunch of salty old meatheads took the weekend with a brain-dead ’80s style Man on a Mission throwback.

Imagine the shock when I discovered that the Aged Action Assholes pulled out the win. To think that Eric Roberts fought Julia Roberts at the box office and WON – not since the Coca-Cola Kid trumped Satisfaction had…that…

I don’t think I was the only one who felt that way – the only one who felt like my Dolph deserved to fill the big screen one more time…or that more people needed to spend a little quality time with America’s first African American President. I think that there’s such goodwill for the cast of the film that people forgave the fact that The Expendables is a narratively-inert mess (’cause let’s face it – the same could be said of most of the heyday output for many of the film’s stars), and they anticipate that a sequel might actually deliver on the promise of the first film – which was a project with a few problems; a sketchy production schedule, an unfinished script, and initially shooting for a “PG-13″ did not help the original film.

Now that there’s a built in audience expecting a hard R, there is the potential for less shoddy CG blood, and with the film being regarded as more of a franchise/tentpole, more care and a clarity of vision might result. People have decried the selection of Simon West as director, but Con Air  has aged much better than most of the Bruck dreck because of it’s utterly goofball sense of humor/self, and West’s recent remake of  The Mechanic, while nothing truly transcendent, was a solid little thriller (which is, in and of itself, something of a lost art). If West can corral the egos and balance the Con Air quirk with the Mechanic intensity…maybe, you know?

Maybe…

Praise be to Collider and /Film.