Rumor has it that plans for an all-female edition of The Expendables are in the works, and there’s already speculation about the cast. Who do you think will be in the starting lineup? Below, a discussion of candidates who could fill a hypothetical eight-woman E-Team.
Pam Grier. From Foxy Brown to Jackie Brown, and everyone in between, Pam Grier is a trailblazer who set the bar for every female action star to follow. She would excel in hand-to-hand combat and gunplay.
Sigourney Weaver. As the star of the Alien franchise, Weaver has kicked extraterrestrial ass. Here, she might be more down to earth, but her skills are still out of this world. Raw, sinewy strength and agility, plus a quick thinker with a great survival instinct.
Linda Hamilton. This tough lady not only had to fight the future, but protect a kid at the same time. If you cross her path, expect to be terminated. Or at least, turned into ground chuck. Master in the use of explosives and giant-caliber firepower.
Kate Beckinsale. She’s able to take down vampires and lycans. Imagine what she’ll do to mere mortals. An all-around superstar with deadly aim, gymnastic ability, a cool head, and quick reflexes.
Michelle Rodriguez. A familiar face in the field, this soldier is also an expert high-stakes driver. I’d look for her in camo, leading the hot pursuit in a car or truck, manning a tank, or running other heavy-duty machinery.
Noomi Rapace. The original Girl With the Dragon Tattoo. If Rapace’s rage is focused on an enemy, there’s no escaping her wrath. Ruthless ability with knives and found material; staying on the offensive.
Michelle Yeoh. When Yeoh unleashes the graceful martial arts precision and catlike reflexes we saw in Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon, her opponents won’t know what hit them.
Hilary Swank. Swank went through serious training to play a boxer in Million Dollar Baby. With that kind of skill under her belt, she’ll be able to knock out anyone who gets in her way and outlast them in an extended fight.
Nan Yu. If the film is a spinoff from the original Expendables movies, then Yu’s character in the second film, Maggie, is a logical character to make the tie-in. For starpower-obsessed studios, however, Michelle Yeoh is a bigger name.
Uma Thurman. The Kill Bill star has plenty of practice at being an assassin and won’t stop until the job is done, but she may be too indelibly intertwined with The Bride to be in a full role. If she doesn’t make the cut, maybe a cameo?
Scarlett Johanssen. It’s an unlucky day for anyone who stumbles into this black widow’s web, but she’s not quite as badass as a lot of women on this list.
Chloë Grace Moretz and Jennifer Lawrence. The Hit Girl knows her way around a gun and straight shooter Katniss’s archery is right on target, but The Expendables has typically focused on more iconic actors in a slightly older age group. They may be out of luck if this installment follows the same pattern.
Jennifer Garner. The Alias star played the perfect spy, but has settled into softer box-office roles.
Lucy Liu. A familiar face in the Tarantino universe, she’s no angel. Crafty and lethal, Liu will show no mercy to her enemies, but doesn’t have Yeoh’s “elder stateswoman” status.
Angelina Jolie. Her name alone will bring a crowd to the box office, but Lara Croft-style characters have given way for slicker spy roles that typically take place outside of the rough-and-tumble areas where expendables are usually sent.