Arnold Schwarzenegger Salutes Action Royalty, Will Cameo In Sly's 'The Expendables'

Sylvester Stallone’s upcoming “The Expendables” is gearing to shoot in the spring, and casting news has had Sly fans thanking the action movie gods for coming to their rescue. The latest: Arnold Schwarzenegger has joined the cast.

AICN revealed that Schwarzenegger would be cameo-ing as himself, as he had previously worked with Stallone’s Barney Ross character on the set of “Conan The Barbarian.” Whatever you may think of the film, seeing friendly rivals and Planet Hollywood colonizers Sly and Arnold together on the big screen should be a kick, at least more amusing than Arnold’s last action movie cameo- passing the torch to The Rock in “The Rundown,” a torch that has since been stomped to the ground and repeatedly sodomized by family films.

Other casting news is unfortunate. Apparently producers couldn’t reach an agreement with Sir Ben Kingsley for a villain role, which has now gone to Eric Roberts. While you may scoff at Kingsley being replaced by a D-List guy like Roberts, remember that Julia’s bro held his own in “The Dark Knight,” after years of B-level performances. Also officially added to the cast is Mickey Rourke, ending months of speculation- with Rourke’s busy sked, does this finally leave him out of “Iron Man 2”?

The casting seems exciting for action dorks – Stallone, Jet Li, Jason Statham, Dolph Lundgren, Forest Whitaker, Robert Knepper, Scott Adkins, Randy Couture, Schwarzenegger- but at this point, that crowd will have high expectations that this movie couldn’t possibly fulfill. Already noted “badass laureate” Outlaw Vern has weighed in with his lukewarm take on the script, while none other than Jean Claude Van Damme was vocal in his criticism of the project when turning it down. Stallone’s recent “Rambo” has it’s own oddball, low-rent Peckinpah poetry, but it benefitted greatly from the metatextual weight of Stallone’s onscreen persona. With original material to work with, will Stallone’s work remain potent?