Today, two friends expressed their surprise to me that a third Expendables movie was in the works. I explained to them that Mel Gibson, Wesley Snipes and Harrison Ford were joining the 80's and 90's cinematic tough guy party and how I was pumped for all the press coverage August of 2014 is sure to hold. It reminded me of the awesome summer I had in 2012 when The Expendables II was being released. My birthday fell during San Diego Comic-Con where I saw some of my favorite actors and movie icons like Sly, Arnold, Dolph, Jackie Chan, Michael Biehn, Michael Jai White and Thomas Jane among many others. I almost ran into my favorite comic book artist of all time, Jim Lee, as we both entered a room for a panel about himself. Things were just coming up Milhouse, know what I mean?
In August I attended two firsts, a movie premiere and a taping of The Tonight Show with Jay Leno. My friend is a die-hard Stallone fan and got a hold of some premiere passes. We jetted over to the Chinese Theater in Hollywood and got in line with some other action fans, tourists and people who randomly had passes. I was wearing one of my custom WWJCVDD? shirts while my friend donned an Expendables tee from the first movie. Maybe it was the power of our combined shirts but a security guard approached us and told us to follow.
We ended up being taken onto the black carpet and placed in the arrival zone across from all of the press. How cool is that? We were going to get to see all of the arriving stars and guests which would include new villain, Jean-Claude Van Damme! A few random actors walked the carpet to little fanfare then a handful of returning Olympians from the London Games showed up, donning their medals and all. They came over and asked how we got such good seats for the star gazing and were very down to earth.
After a while, things got serious as the main cast was starting to arrive. I believe Dolph Lundgren was the first and he came over to sign autographs and take photos. He would soon be followed by Stallone and Arnold who also came over to shake hands and greet the fans. Mr. Van Damme did a few quick interviews before being whisked down the carpet as the fire Marshall began threatening to close down the parade if it didn't clear out. While waiting I ended up recognizing Van Damme's assistant and we chatted about the movie he recently directed, insane travel schedules, etc. Since the media outlets were more interested in talking to the household names, I had the chance to talk to Universal Soldier co-star Tiny Lister about that awesome 90's action flick as well as Ralf Moeller, who also appeared in Unisol and showed up with friend Arnold and his sons. Moeller seemed genuinely surprised I recognized him but was cool enough to talk action movies with me for a few.
Chuck Norris and Terry Crews were on hand but stuck to the press line and didn't make their way over. By now the sun had set and the Marshall really wanted the carpet cleared. The press crews started to pack up as Jason Statham showed up and just hung out talking to fans and not giving a Damme about the movie playing inside. Unfortunately the theater was packed so we didn't end up seeing the flick that night, we just had to settle for seeing all the stars up close.