EXCLUSIVE: After grossing $563 million worldwide on The Expendables and its recently released sequel, Millennium Films has set Legally Blonde scribes Karen McCullah Lutz and Kirsten Smith to write ExpendaBelles, the title of the spinoff action film that will show the feminine side of the mercenary business. The intention is to hatch a franchise that will be driven by actresses who’ve logged time in action films over the years, much the same way that The Expendables team is comprised of action film staples. Millennium will finance with Avi Lerner and Mark Gill producing, along with Heidi Jo Markel of Eclectic Pictures and Julie Kroll of Summertime Entertainment and Boaz Davidson. Trevor Short will be executive producer.
The action game hasn’t been as steady for actresses as it has been for their male counterparts, but certainly Angelina Jolie thrives and Underworld‘s Kate Beckinsale, Resident Evil‘s Milla Jovovich, Haywire‘s Gina Carano, and Kill Bill‘s Uma Thurman have done well in the butt-kicking action realm. And there is also Alien‘s Sigourney Weaver, Long Kiss Goodnight‘s Geena Davis, Elektra‘s Jennifer Garner, Crouching Tiger‘s Michelle Yeoh, Red Sonja‘s Brigitte Nielsen, and action genre matriarch Pam Grier. Who am I missing? Millennium is compiling its own list, but doesn’t expect to make offers until the writers deliver the goods. Lutz and Smith are repped by Paradigm and Jaret Entertainment.