Stallone Casts Snipes in ‘Expendables 3′ (on Tax Day, Of Course)

Mark Deming
Movie Talk

Is it just a coincidence that this story surfaced on Tax Day?

As millions of Americans prepare to settle up with the I.R.S., Wesley Snipes, who was released from federal prison April 2 after failing to file taxes over a three-year period, is ready to make some declarable income again. Early Monday morning, Sylvester Stallone announced via Twitter that Snipes is on board for "The Expendables 3," the upcoming edition of his series of action vehicles featuring veteran big screen tough guys.

At 3:25 a.m., Stallone tweeted, "Wesley Snipes is BACK!!!! ... ...with US." (That post was later deleted.) The same morning, Stallone added, "Wesley Snipes joined the crew tonight and that makes me damn happy. Hope Snipes brings his A-Game."

Of course, this wouldn't be the first time Stallone and Snipes have teamed up; the two co-starred in 1993's "Demolition Man." But a lot has happened with both of their careers in twenty years. Stallone has struggled to win back his status as an A-List star in recent years with vehicles like "Rambo" and the "Expendables" franchise. And Snipes, after two years and four months behind bars, is eager to kick start his career. Appearing in the next "Expendables" along with a handful of other vintage action stars is one good way for him to do it.

Stallone's statement comes as he's been taking to Twitter fairly often to generate buzz for the upcoming project. On March 12, he posted, "Writing EX3 at the moment … there are going to be mountains of surprises." And when a rumor began to circulate that Mel Gibson was being courted to direct "The Expendables 3" (a notion that didn’t seem to go over well with Sly's fans), Stallone didn't confirm or deny, but did post, "Mel is a MAGNIFICENT director! Pure passion on every level. We’d be blessed to have him. A REAL long shot, but LIFE is a long shot -- right?"

Snipes is, besides Stallone, the first actor to be confirmed for "Expendables 3," though fans have been having lots of fun speculating on who will be joining the cast. Steven Seagal reported he was offered a role, but Stallone has since said he turned it down, while Jackie Chan is rumored to be signing on for the movie. Nicolas Cage is also being buzzed for the project, and other casting possibilities range from Bruce Willis and Arnold Schwarzenegger to Harrison Ford and even Clint Eastwood (though since 82-year-old Clint is said to be directing the upcoming screen version of "Jersey Boys," he's probably a long shot at best).

Stallone is reportedly hoping to start shooting "The Expendables 3" in the fall for a 2014 release. That should give Sly a few months to firm up casting details, and for Snipes to hopefully find a new accountant who will make sure his tax issues are straightened out this time.