Mr. T has yet to appear in The Expendables franchise, but this is hopefully something that will soon change. As of now, Sylvester Stallone is gearing up to start filming The Expendables 4 in October, and the main cast of the upcoming sequel was recently released by Lionsgate. The movie features a blend of returning franchise stars along with a handful of newcomers, but once again, Mr. T’s name is absent from the list.
Let’s rewind for a moment to emphasize why it would be such an amazing moment to see Mr. T in an Expendables movie. In the 1980s, Mr. T was working as a bouncer when he was discovered by Stallone. Due to his unique look and attitude, Stallone thought he would be perfect for the villain role in the boxing sequel Rocky III. The sequel was a big hit and instantly established Mr. T as a pop culture icon.
In the years since, an on-screen reunion between Sylvester Stallone and Mr. T hasn’t yet come to fruition. It nearly happened with the 2006 sequel Rocky Balboa as there were early plans by Stallone to bring back Mr. T to play an older version of Clubber Lang, now working as an analyst following his boxing retirement. Negotiations apparently didn’t work out with Mr. T at the time as the cameo never ended up happening. That ship has since most likely sailed with Michael B. Jordan’s Adonis Creed now serving as the star of the franchise.
Even so, Rocky III fans hadn’t given up on seeing the actor appear in another movie with Stallone. There were many calling for him to join The Expendables franchise, and it’s easy to understand why. In the first Expendables in 2010, Stallone brought back his Rocky IV nemesis Dolph Lundgren as a featured star of the ensemble cast. It was the first time Lundgren had been on the big screen since 1995’s Johnny Mnemonic, giving the Ivan Drago actor’s career a shot in the arm.
Unfortunately, the Mr. T for The Expendables 4 campaign was dealt a big blow in 2015. At the time, the actor was doing an interview with The Celebrity Cafe while promoting his new series I Pity the Tool for DIY Network. There were already reports back then of Stallone plotting out the next Expendables sequel, and Mr. T was asked if he would be a part of it. He seemed to balk at the idea because of his loyalty to The A-Team.
“Nah, I won’t be in Expendables 4, or even Expendable 1, because that’s a lie,” Mr. T said. “Because number one, I’m not expendable! And number two, when you’re on the A-Team, you can’t go around being on other teams and whatnot.Expendables is a rip-off of The A-Team! You know what I mean? Think about it. You got about 20 guys. The A-Team, we got four guys in the league. So if I’m a member of The A-Team, we couldn’t loan ourselves out to be Expendable. You feelin’ what I’m saying?”
Also suggesting he’s not a fan of the violence, he added: “When we’re on the A-Team, we love it when a plan comes together. An Expendable, they’re just killing everyone in sight. In The A-Team, we didn’t kill nobody. You know, we kill them with our jokes. But I’m just joking, you know. It’s a good show, The Expendables. But no, I’m an A-Team guy, you know. That’s what I am.”
That’s certainly not the most flattering way to describe The Expendables, but there’s still a respect held for Stallone. In 2017, Mr. T randomly tweeted to Stallone his thanks for casting him in Rocky III, which ended up changing his life forever. At the time, he wrote, “Hey @TheSlyStallone I owe you much gratitude My Brother. Thanks Again for Believing in Me and Taking A Chance with Me 37 years ago!…”
Mr. T had a voice role in 2009’s Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs, but he hasn’t been physically seen on the big screen in 20 years since appearing in 2001’s Not Another Teen Movie. In the years since, he has made sporadic television appearances, which includes hosting his own shows like I Pity the Fool, I Pity the Tool, and Worl’d Craziest Fools. He also competed on Dancing with the Stars in 2017.
It’s a safe bet that Mr. T wouldn’t have wanted to appear in a starring role in The Expendables 4, given the violence that this would entail. Perhaps he would be more open for a cameo appearance where he doesn’t necessarily have to play a mercenary or even fire a single shot from a firearm. What would be most excellent is just to see Stallone and Mr. T back on the big screen together once again. Even if it’s just as a mohawked street vendor selling Barney Ross a hot dog.
The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of Movieweb.