Cannes: How 'Expendables 3' Plans to Conquer the Croisette


This article first appeared in The Hollywood Reporter’s Cannes Daily on May 16.

Not since the Vichy regime have foreign tanks arrived in France with the kind of audacity that will be marshaled May 18, when Avi Lerner and Mark Gill of The Expendables 3 backer Nu Image/Millennium send a military hardware parade down the Croisette.

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They’ve wrangled 14 of their stars and will install them in a pair of Soviet-made BTR-60 tanks shipped in by ferry from the U.K. by a private collector.

“Cannes is about spectacles, so it’s about creating a spectacle,” says Gill. Unsurprisingly, the bureaucratic approval process, which began last November, has been extensive: Rubber tires had to be installed (“treads would chew up the road”) and the gun turrets had to be removed (“it’s OK to have a tank, but not one that could take out a wing of the Carlton”).

The producers also agreed to having the national police serve as escorts. “They need to ensure the tanks don’t go back and take over France,” says Lerner. “Between Mel Gibson, Sylvester Stallone and Harrison Ford, I think they could take Paris.”

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