Superstars Sylvester Stallone and Bruce Willis are considered kings of the action flick. Bringing in mega bucks at the box office, both actors are often seen on the big screen performing heroic acts to save the population from all types of evil.
When the two collaborated for a successful film franchise, Stallone had a major bone to pick with Willis when the Die Hard star made certain demands.
Bruce Willis demanded a $1 million raise
Stallone and Willis teamed up for the blockbuster franchise The Expendables in 2010. With an all-star lineup that included Jason Statham, Jet Li, and Dolph Lundgren in the first installment, the film that focused on a team of muscle-bound mercenaries was an instant hit.
Willis portrayed the mysterious CIA agent Mr. Church in the first two films, though he wasn’t the first choice for the role. According to The Independent, Stallone offered the Pulp Fiction star the part after it had been turned down by Arnold Schwarzenegger (who chose to play the bigger role of Trench), and Kurt Russell.
When negotiations began for The Expendables 3 in 2013, Willis was reportedly offered $3 million for just four days of work. Yet the actor demanded $4 million, and dropped out of the project when his price wasn’t met.
Sylvester Stallone vented on Twitter
Stallone wasted no time in getting a replacement for Willis. Needing another big name to join new cast members Antonio Banderas, Mel Gibson, and Wesley Snipes, the Rocky icon recruited Indiana Jones star Harrison Ford. The Oscar winner wasn’t shy about making the announcement.
‘WILLIS OUT… HARRISON FORD IN !!!!” Stallone tweeted after Ford signed on in August 2013. “GREAT NEWS !!!!! Been waiting years for this!!!!”
A second tweet soon followed, with Stallone selecting some specific adjectives to describe Willis.
“GREEDY AND LAZY . . . A SURE FORMULA FOR CAREER FAILURE,” Stallone wrote on Twitter.
‘Rocky’ posted an apology tweet
Willis downplayed the comments, attributing his decision to more creative reasons.
“Explosions are one of the most boring parts of my job,” the Vice star explained, as reported by Express. “When you have seen a few fireballs, it’s not exciting any more. Part of my audience enjoys the explosions but to be honest, I’m a bit bored with it.”
Willis did refer to the fiscal side of the negotiations, noting how the genre is notorious for bringing in big bucks.
“I’ve worked in all sorts of films, but the action movies are the ones that generate the most revenue,” he remarked. “I like to earn lots of money but I do all types: small productions, mega-projects, medium sized, even science fiction.”
Despite the dust-up, the two apparently made amends. The following year, Stallone took to social media once again to report on the status of his friendship with Willis.
“Made up with BRUCE W,” the Rambo star tweeted in November 2014. “A stand up guy, my mistake…”
As for Willis’ replacement, Ford apparently enjoyed his work on The Expendables franchise.
“I’m playing a character that is an authority figure,” Ford said of his role as Max Drummer. “He manages the Expendables, and he has an interesting relationship to the character sly plays.While I am involved a little bit in the action, not so much. It’s an interesting character, and I didn’t know Sly before. It was fun.”
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