In his legendary career, Sylvester Stallone has collaborated with several onscreen luminaries.

But there was one veteran he hadn’t worked with: his idol Clint Eastwood. Stallone eventually thought he’d written and directed the perfect film for him and Clint Eastwood to collaborate on. Clint Eastwood, on the other hand, was skeptical of the collaboration.

How Sylvester Stallone chose which actors to recruit for ‘The Expendables’

The Expendables trilogy is a successful action film series that brought together a few familiar personalities from the genre. For his hit project, Stallone has enlisted the help of Dolph Lundgren, Wesley Snipes, Jason Statham, and other strong hitters.

As the protagonist, Stallone has often had a say in who appears in The Expendables films. He chose the members he did because of their distinct talents.

“Because they’re one of a kind – to get them all together is very, very rare,” Stallone once told Collider about his casting choices. “Life takes us all down very different paths, so to get them together is an event. That’s the key word: an event. We’re trying to make an ‘event movie’. Just like The Avengers, why is it so great? Because you’re bringing all these characters together.”

Stallone expressed his admiration for action stars. To him, directing an action picture was both more difficult and gratifying than directing any other genre of film.

“The hardest thing is to find an action star. I don’t give a damn what anyone says, stars they come and go. An action star, you can count on one hand, because it’s a very interesting element. And I think all these guys have that potential, otherwise they wouldn’t be here. And they all blend,” Stallone said.

Clint Eastwood turned down Sylvester Stallone’s ‘Expendables 3’ because he preferred directing.

Despite all of the talent Stallone had assembled for his Expendables trilogy, he still had a few superstars in mind. Clint Eastwood was one icon on whom Stallone had set his eyes. However, Eastwood was asked if he saw himself in Stallone’s action films.

“Probably not,” Eastwood once told Extra TV (via Contact Music).

Nonetheless, Clint Eastwood stated that he wouldn’t mind being a part of The Expendables in a filmmaking position.

“I’m probably more apt to direct something. Maybe I’ll direct Expendables 3,” he added.

Clint Eastwood

This would have needed Clint Eastwood to become acquainted with the films, which he claimed he knew very nothing about.

“I haven’t had the opportunity to see [The Expendables] yet. I haven’t read any material,” he said.

Sylvester Stallone called casting Clint Eastwood in ‘The Expendables 3’ a pipe dream.

Although Stallone would have welcomed Eastwood as an Expendables member, he doubted the casting would go place.

“Well, you know Clint Eastwood is so involved with what he’s doing, so that’s kind of a pipe dream,” he said.

But Clint Eastwood wasn’t the only acting legend who Stallone turned down for his action series. The Rocky actor also offered Nicholson a role in the film. But he wasn’t able to reach Nicholson in time.

“I was going to go up to Jack Nicholson and we just got there a little too late cause actually he had said he might be interested in it, so there are still interesting avenues out there. I want to get, if possible, the most unique actors from the past and just put ‘em on there once and for all, if we can,” Stallone said. “It just seems like an interesting quest to do that, because I don’t know if it’s ever going to happen again; we’re certainly not getting any younger.”