The Female Expendables, sometimes called "The Expenda-Belles" in certain circles, is moving forward very, very quickly. The counterpoint to Sylvester Stallone's boy's club action franchise was only officially announced on August 20, with no director attached and a screenplay being developed by relative newcomer Dutch Southern, but casting is heavily underway with Gina Carano already attached and now joined by Katee Sackhoff, the woman who overcame fan stigma when she took on the part of Starbuck, a role originally played by a man, in last TV reboot of "Battlestar Galactica."
Sackhoff's experience as an action hero is mosty in the realm of television thus far, with memorable roles on "24" and the otherwise forgettable "Bionic Woman" reboot. Her biggest theatrical role to date is still in post-production: Sackhoff will star opposite Vin Diesel and Karl Urban in Riddick 3, due in theaters sometime in 2013. But for the most part, everyone knows her as Kara "Starbuck" Thrace, the hotshot pilot who took on some frackin' Cylons in the critically acclaimed sci-fi series "Battlestar Galactica."
When announcing the Sackhoff's casting to Variety, producer Adi Shankar gave the following statement: "If you spend five minutes with Katee it becomes blatantly obvious that she would pwn (sic) most male action stars." Ain't that a fact.
Both Gina Carano and Katee Sackhoff have proved their chops already, but to date none of the most prominent contemporary female action stars – like Angelina Jolie (Salt), Milla Jovovich (Resident Evil: Retribution) or Zoe Saldana (Columbiana) – have expressed interest, and neither have any of the "legacy" action heroes, like Cynthia Rothrock (China O'Brien), Michelle Yeoh (Supercop), Linda Hamilton (Terminator 2: Judgment Day), Pam Grier (Foxy Brown), Sigourney Weaver (Aliens) or Geena Davis (The Long Kiss Goodnight). One of the more obvious casting choices for the series, Michelle Rodriguez (Avatar), has publically stated that she's not interested, much to her fans' disappointment.
While we're happy that Carano and Sackhoff are getting their moment in the spotlight, the real test of the female Expendables will be the level of stars the film can attract. Hopefully the increasing number of second tier action heroes will make the project seem more appealing to the A-listers, but we will see.
CraveOnline will be back with more female Expendables news after they finally figure out a title for this thing.