It's a battle of the heavyweight champions, or at least that's how Sylvester Stallone describes his cinematic fight between himself and Jean-Claude Van Damme in the film "The Expendables 2."
Stallone revives his Barney Ross character from the original film and brings back Jason Statham, Jet Li, Dolph Lundgren, Terry Crews, Randy Couture, Bruce Willis and Arnold Schwarzenegger for this sequel. Meanwhile, action film legends Chuck Norris and Jean-Claud Van Damme also joined the cast.
Norris plays Booker, a retired military operative who is on a mission to help save the expendable crew while Van Damme plays the film's villain Jean Vilain, who leads a crew of opposing mercenaries.
"I think people will be quite surprised by Vilain who is hell bent on destroying us and his own self-destruction," Stallone said in an interview provided by the film's studio, Lionsgate. "He doesn't care, he's fearless in that way and eventually he and I meet one on one, which I think will end up being a hellacious battle until the very end."
"It's something like a heavy weight championship fight that you never thought would happen," the 66-year-old actor said of his match-up with Van Damme, 51. "You bring two guys out of retirement and say, 'Well, let's find out once and for all what we're made of.'
The film sees the team of mercenaries embarking on a quest for revenge after one of them is murdered. The movie marks the official acting return of Schwarzenegger, who reprises his unaccredited role of Trench from the first 2010 film, as well as Norris' first feature film in six years. Stallone co-wrote the script.
"Everyone in this move has had a very stellar career and to get them all together in one time is a minor miracle," Stallone said.
As for his rough characters in the film, Stallone explained that the guys are old school super heroes.
"I think because they hearken back to a time when heroes were kind of like flesh and blood. It didn't have any extraordinary abilities other than the desire to survive and to be victorious, even at the cost of their own lives," Stallone said. "So there's something that is relatable about it because they are flesh and blood."
The film also features fresh faces like "The Hunger Games" star Liam Hemsworth as Billy the Kid, a former military sniper who joins the expendables and Yu Nan as Chinese agent Maggie.
"The Expendables 2" hit theaters on August 17. Check out the trailers for the film below.