Stallone raised eyebrows in Hollywood by tweeting “WILLIS OUT . . . HARRISON FORD IN!!!! GREAT NEWS!!!!! Been waiting years for this!!!!,” then following up with a second tweet reading “GREEDY AND LAZY . . . A SURE FORMULA FOR CAREER FAILURE.”
A source with knowledge of the situation says the fallout was over a specific money demand. Willis was offered $3 million for four days of consecutive work on location in Bulgaria for the film. “He said he’d drop out unless he got $4 million,” this source close to the production says. “A million dollars a day. Stallone and everybody else involved said no.”
Stallone then quickly reached out to Ford, who was game to join the Expendables cast.
The insider adds, “I think [Willis] was pretty surprised he was replaced in 72 hours by Harrison Ford — a better actor, a much nicer person and a more interesting direction for the film.”
Willis’ reps at CAA declined comment.
Willis most recently appeared in Red 2, which has grossed a disappointing $80 million worldwide. Before that, February’s A Good Day to Die Hard grossed $305 million. He also had an extended cameo in March’s G.I. Joe: Retaliation, which grossed $372 million.
The next installment of The Expendables, with a budget of more than $90 million, is set for release next August by Millennium Films. In addition to Stallone and Ford, the cast includes Arnold Schwarzenegger, Jason Statham, Mickey Rourke and Wesley Snipes.