By Darren Franich
April 11, 2013 at 08:45 PM EDT
Paul Drinkwater/NBC/Getty Images
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Late-blooming fan-fiction auteur Sylvester Stallone, on the verge of finishing his latest mash-up crossovers Tango & Terminator and Rocky vs. Raging Bull, is finally getting back to his crossover mega-franchise The Expendables (which is itself sort of the Crisis on Infinite Earths of old things). Stallone has spent the last month free-associating about The Expendables 3 on his Twitter account, promising mountains of surprises and more humor, saying in no uncertain terms that Steven Seagal will not be involved but that Jackie Chan has a spot saved on the roster, and also putting out a casual casting call for a “tech wizard,” a “super brains,” and “a young woman who is not a sex symbol but funny, tough, REAL.”

Earlier today, Stallone tweeted, “What about Mel Gibson directing EXPENDABLES FIVE???” It seems like a joke, what with the capital letters and the multiple question marks and the intrinsic outrageousness of suggesting Mel Gibson for anything besides inscrutable facial expressions. However, as happens so often with the Expendables franchise, the joke suddenly became real. “No, I was kidding,” added Stallone, “But seriously, what about Mel Gibson directing Expendables 3? Opinions anyone? Curious…..”

It would appear that Stallone was just musing, or perhaps polling the electorate. Stallone’s representatives wouldn’t comment on Expendables 3 — which, again, is still little more than a twinkle in Sylvester Stallone’s eyes at this point. (Gibson’s reps say he’s not involved in the project.) Still, it’s not a complete impossibility. The second Expendables movie underperformed at the domestic box office but wound up banking $300 million worldwide, which makes a third film a decent possibility — especially since making these movies seems to mostly involve getting everyone on the cast to clear out a weekend here or there to film a trailer-ready cameo. Gibson himself has already initiated the meta-parody era of his career with a villainous role in the upcoming Machete sequel. And getting Gibson involved would bring Stallone one step closer to completing his collection of ’80s action heroes. All he needs now is Kurt Russell, ideally as a one-eyed man who owns a snake because ha-ha get it?

Follow Darren on Twitter: @DarrenFranich

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