The Film That Nearly United Arnie, Stallone & Willis Before Expendables

The Expendables finally united action icons Arnold Schwarzenegger, Sylvester Stallone and Bruce Willis, but a terrible comedy from the ’90s almost got there first. During the ’80s and ’90s, Schwarzenegger, Stallone and Willis dominated the action genre. Arnie and Sly were rivals during their heyday, with the stars trying to outdo each other in terms of who could have the most impressive physique or higher body count. Movies could be sold on their name alone, but while they were essentially making superhero movies before comic book films were in vogue, Willis offered something entirely different.,While already famous for comedy series
Moonlighting, 1988’s
Die Hard made Willis a movie star overnight. John McClane’s vulnerability made for a major contrast to characters like Stallone’s Rambo – who wasn’t actually the first to play the role – and Willis would fill out the ’90s bouncing between action films like
The Last Boy Scout with movies like
The Sixth Sense. During their peak, their fans often wondered what a film teaming all three stars together would be like, but considering they all received massive paydays during this time, such a project didn’t seem feasible financially.,Related: Stallone, Schwarzenegger, Or Willis: Who The Biggest ’80s Action Star Was,Reportedly, a long-planned – and still unproduced – adaptation of comic series
Sgt. Rock that would have starred Schwarzenegger also featured parts for Stallone and Willis. However, this is unconfirmed, and it might be that all three were considered for the lead at different times in the movie’s development, as Willis was later linked to the role during the late 2000s.
The Expendables – a series that needs some female action icons – from 2010 finally brought them all together, with star/director Stallone calling in favors from both Arnold and Willis for a scene. Long before this, 1997 comedy
An Alan Smithee Film: Burn Hollywood Burn was set to feature Arnie, Stallone and Willis playing themselves as the stars of a $200 million buddy cop movie called
Trio.,Burn, Hollywood, Burn was written by
Basic Instinct’s Joe Eszterhas and is a parody of studio moviemaking and revolves around a filmmaker attempting to disown a terrible action movie he helmed that was taken over by producers. The issue is, the director – played by Eric Idle – is actually named Alan Smithee, which was also the Guild-approved pseudonym, meaning he can’t technically take his name off it.
An Alan Smithee Film: Burn Hollywood Burn is a terrible comedy that bombed at the box office and is now only really notable for causing the DGA to retire the “Alan Smithee” name entirely. The movie within a movie
 Trio was written to feature Arnie, Stallone and Willis as the A-list stars, but only Stallone ended up taking part, with Whoopi Goldberg and Jackie Chan filling in the other roles.,Stallone recalled his involvement during an
AICN Q&A in 2006, stating he was tricked by his agent into appearing. Eszterhas – who was a major screenwriter during this era – was threatening to leave his agency, which Stallone was also part of and he was told by his agent that Arnold and Willis had committed to appear in 
Burn Hollywood Burn too. According to Stallone, ”
Going on his word, I showed up on the set at about 7:30 only to find the other two parts were being played by Jackie Chan and Whoopi Goldberg. I think that’s the night my hair began falling out from stress.”,While some viewers were disappointed that
The Expendables union of Schwarzenegger, Stallone and Willis – who all killed Robert Patrick onscreen – only amounted to a brief, action-free dialogue scene, that’s still better than anything 
An Alan Smithee Film: Burn Hollywood Burn would have offered, which doesn’t raise a single laugh over its runtime.,Next: Rambo 4 Was Almost Stallone Vs Jackie Chan (Why It Changed)