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Why JCVD and Seagal didn't appear in The Expendables, and a kill count poster

The Expendables has a huge cast of action stars in it. Unfortunately, like the Uncanny Valley, the closer one movie gets to having all the greats, the more we notice those who are missing--notably Jean-Claude Van Damme and Steven Seagal. Did Stallone not want them in the movie? Did they say no? As it turns out, they might not have been ready to play ball.

Speaking with a British Sunday newspaper, WENN (via Cinematical), Sylvester Stallone opened up about the situation.

"I wanted to set Jean-Claude against Jet Li, but he didn't want to lose to Jet. He didn't think that was cool. But that's why it would be cool; to have Jean-Claude beaten by the other man. Hey, they could have a rematch. But Steven Seagal and Van Damme, they weren't really into our gallows humor." - Stallone

That's really a shame and a bit odd. Van Damme opened himself up to some humor in JVCD and Seagal is in a joke movie opening very soon, Machete. It's hard to argue that both of them would benefit from appearing in a big action movie at this point. Perhaps they'll appear in the sequel. My question: why didn't anybody call Kurt Russell. I know he has a sense of humor.

The chart below aggregates all of the kills that every actor in The Expendables has accumulated throughout their movie careers. Dolph Lundgren wins by a mile, but if Arnold was on the chart, things might be different. Click to enlarge the image.

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