Ever since word broke last month that the project dubbed The ExpendaBelles—a.k.a. the all-female spinoff of The Expendables—was set to go ahead, action fans have been speculating on the potential for a dream cast of ass-kicking women. So far Battlestar Galactica's Katee Sackhoff and former MMA fighter Gina Canaro have tentatively signed on. Beyond that, well, just about any actor with two X chromosomes who has strapped on a holster, wielded a sword or delivered a roundhouse kick onscreen in the past 40 years seems to be up for consideration—though The Terminator's Linda Hamilton and Foxy Brown legend Pam Grier's names have been bandied about enough to land them on the movie's budding IMDb page. Sackhoff has confirmed that she's on board—though it sounds as if she has a safety catch in place should the project go pear-shaped.
"Well, I am attached to it but things always happen," the actor says in a new interview with Collider. "If I got a script delivered and [it] was absolutely horrible, then you figure things out."
Sackhoff goes on to say that she doesn't expect that will be necessary, not with the team being assembled by producer Adi Shankar (Dredd 3D, Machine Gun Preacher) and his aptly named production company, 1984 Private Defense Contractors. Yes, The ExpendaBelles would sound like even more of a throwback to '80s action movies than The Expendables, were it not for the curious presence of Karen McCullah Lutz and Kirsten Smith, the screenwriting team behind Legally Blonde and The House Bunny.
The latter detail suggests that this spun version of Sylvester Stallone's aging-tough-guy franchise could have laughs to spare, though would anyone involved actually want to play a landmark, all-woman mercenary tale as any kind of joke? (Ugh, there is that name...) Whether Shankar casts nine action women whose surnames are familiar enough to list alone on the poster (just imagine: JOLIE JOVOVICH BERRY THURMAN...actually, various people have imagined it already) or veers from Stallone's formula enough to make things both female-empowered and interesting, Sackhoff is aware of what the project is up against.
"People and producers and studios and finance guys get caught up in saying, 'Women don't sell movies' ... or 'People don't want to see women do this," she tells Collider. "... It is nice for someone to finally take a chance."