Although it’s set to find a new audience on DVD and Blu-ray this week, the action ensemble The Expendables 3 failed to perform at the domestic box office this past summer, grossing less than $40 million. (It did fare far better overseas, however, turning out an additional $167 million). With the Patrick Hughes-directed sequel hitting store shelves November 25, CraveOnline caught up with Stallone himself, who admitted his belief that part of the film’s problem was its PG-13 rating.
“Absolutely unequivocally yes,” the star responded when asked whether or not future entries should embrace an R rating. “I believe it was a horrible miscalculation on everyone’s part in trying to reach a wider audience, but in doing such, diminish the violence that the audience expects. I’m quite certain it won’t happen again.”
Sly did admit that a lighter PG-13 rating does help ease the explanation as to how some of these characters keep surviving suicide missions film after film, teasing that we may see the loss of a main character in a future film.
“[It’s is a big conflict for me,” says Stallone. “because in an R-rated film it is difficult to believe that none of the heroes die. I personally just believe that the characters become identifiable and their demise could put a dark cloud over an audience exiting the theatre after seeing the film. But that may change in ‘Expendables 4’…”
Interestingly enough, Stallone also reveals that, before he was cast as the villain, Mel Gibson was sought to direct The Expendables 3.
“I wanted Mel Gibson to direct originally because he’s an extraordinary filmmaker,” Stallone continues. “But after several months of discussing it, this ultimately was not to be. But he did say he wanted to be in the movie – and play the villain. My response was a definite ‘YES…. Suit up.’
The version of The Expendables 3 hitting home video includes both the PG-13 cut and an “Unrated Extended” edition, running five minutes longer.
Check out the entire interview at CraveOnline and let us know in the comments below if you’d like to see another Expendables film and what role you feel violence and MPAA guidelines should play.