Newswire: Sylvester Stallone taps out of the Expendables franchise

Put away the rocket launchers. Send the helicopters back to their hangers. Leave the knives unhurled, the guns uncocked, the Jeeps tragically un-blown-up. Sylvester Stallone has quit The Expendables.

Deadline reports that Stallone has walked away from the series—a weird sentence to write, admittedly—over ongoing concerns about the direction and quality of its planned fourth installment. He apparently argued with long-time producing partner Avi Lerner over a number of aspects of the film, mostly boiling down to whether the actor and co-writer was chaining himself to yet another diminishing returns buffet of an action movie franchise. (Working on Creed, with Michael B. Jordan and Ryan Coogler, appears to have reminded Stallone that he can actually be in good movies when someone reminds him to do so.)

But Lerner refuted Stallone’s claims that he’s out. “We’ve got disagreements with Sly, but we’ve had them for …

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