Sylvester Stallone, Dolph Lundgren And ‘The Expendables’ Assemble For Their San Diego Comic-Con Panel!

by Ryan J. Downey

– Before the panel began, Harry Knowles announced he’s taking on a second job as EIC of “Aren’t you hungry for a movie that makes you want to hit the gym?” he asked. “I’m going to be representing estrogen on the stage.”

– Terry Crews made an animated arrival onto the stage, tearing off his shirt. “Stone Cold” Steve Austin followed suit, but without the shirt ripping. Dolph Lundgren followed, looking awesome in a suit. Randy Couture was next.

– “He wakes me up some mornings to tell me to put a story on my site,” Knowles said introducing Stallone, who was greeted by a “Rocky! Rocky!” chant.

– “He had me at hello,” Crews said of getting the call about meeting Stallone, doing a spot-on Sly impression. “It’s the manliest movie ever made.”

– Bruce Wllis surprised everyone by joining the panel late. “How f–king awesome is this?!” Knowles appropriately exclaimed.

– Willis said he wanted to thank Sly for including him in his “great” film. Stallone said it was his dream come true to have quick scenes for Arnold and Bruce. He said it was Bruce’s idea to put them all together. Then Willis had to leave the stage. “If Arnold shows up, don’t let him in,” Stallone joked.

– “We beat the crap out of each other 25 years ago,” Dolph said of Sly. He said “Rocky IV” was more painful to make. “He put me in the hospital for four days!” Sly said of Dolph.

– Randy said he grew up watching “Rocky” and Rambo, pointing out that “First Blood,” the first Rambo movie, was filmed in his home state of Washington.

– Stallone said the production designer “forgot to put rubber padding on the bricks.” Running through fire, jumping into gravel– “there was nothing” these guys wouldn’t do. He said co-star Jason Statham had the most unusual stunt, involving a plane. He did a great Statham impression.

– Stallone said Steve broke his neck. He now has screws in his neck. Sly said it was his fault and Steve agreed. “When the writer, lead actor and director tells you to kick the s–t out of him, you kick the s–t out of him!”

– “Same thing as when I asked Dolph to punch me as hard as he can in the chest, it was stupid,” Stallone said. He joked that he has to get hurt for one of his movies to work. He pointed out that he didn’t get hurt in “Rhinestone” or “Stop, Or My Mom Will Shoot.”

– Crews called this movie a love letter to every action fan. “[Sly] told me he’s going to make me an action star… and he will always be my mentor.”

– Next, the “tunnel fight” clip was aired. Knowles and Stallone said the studio was shocked they let them show it, due to its extreme ultra-violence.

– Couture admitted it was a challenge to train for a fight while doing the movie. He said he did have eight weeks to train after the movie.

– Stallone said there is a documentary coming about the making of the movie “shot in a very crude fashion.”

– Stallone said “the constant visits to the hospital” became an ongoing joke. He said every stuntman was afraid of Randy in particular after a while.

– Stallone said they had 70 bodyguards at one point due to the dangerous areas in Brazil.

– A fan asks if there’s a Rocky / Drago rematch in “The Expendables.” Dolph said their relationship has “an interesting twist.”

– Any arm wrestling matches? “I hate that sport! Because I’m so bad at it,” Stallone said. “After I did that movie [“Over the Top,”] I retired.” Then he jokingly arm wrestled Steve.

– A guy in a Punisher shirt asked if there was anyone Stallone wanted who he didn’t get. He said he spoke to Van Damme, Seagal and Chuck Norris. But scheduling and “other extenuating circumstances, like INSANITY” (huge laugh) prevented certain people from taking part.

– A girl in a homemade Dolph shirt pointed out that he normally doesn’t do ensemble pictures. “Statham, Jet Li — it was a great experience for me. And I had a few more days off, since I didn’t have to work everyday.”

– Sly said he was a geek growing up. He said he went to school with a Superman outfit under his clothes. “I’m one of you!” he told the crowd sincerely.

– A fan asked if any of the guys ever take a hard punch personal while doing fight scenes. Not on the movie, but Stallone admitted to wanting to hit back hard on “Demolition Man” (Wesley Snipes, we can only assume!) and “Deathrace 2000″ (David Carradine, who he mentioned by name).

– A guy from The Guinness Book of World Records presented Sly (and Dolph) with an award for “Rocky,” the most successful sports movie franchise ever. Reflecting on the films, Stallone said he “blew it” with “Rocky V.” He was very happy that “Rocky Balboa” worked. And closing out “Rambo” worked. “And then I got greedy again! And here I am!”

– A clip called “the dock explosion” concluded the panel.