Stallone, Statham infiltrate actioner


Sylvester Stallone and Jason Statham have become expendable.

The pair will join Jet Li, who's in final negotiations, as a team of mercenaries in "The Expendables."

The Nu Image/ Millennium Films actioner will be directed by Stallone from his original screenplay, the first project in his two-picture deal with the studio. The second is expected to be the next installment of his popular "Rambo" series.

In "Expendables," the main characters are sent to infiltrate a South American country and overthrow its ruthless dictator to liberate the population. Their team is "expendable," hired to do jobs that no one else can or will.

Principal photography will begin in February in Costa Rica and Louisiana. The producers are courting big international presales at the American Film Market.

Avi Lerner, John Thompson and Kevin King Templeton are producing the film with executive producers Boaz Davidson, Trevor Short and Danny Dimbort.

"Making films with Nu Image/ Millennium gives me as the director the opportunity to make the films I envision," Stallone said. "I am happy to be partnering with them again and am looking forward to working with Jason and Jet." (partialdiff)