Given his character's condition at the end of The Expendables 2, you'd be correct in assuming that Jean-Claude Van Damme will not show up in The Expendables 3. But that hasn't stopped fans of the franchise asking Van Damme if the villainous Jean Vilain will ever return in possible further instalments. The answer to that question is no. Claude Vilain, on the other hand... that's a different story.
Yup, fan site Expendables Premiere has come up with a twin brother idea so ridiculous that it might actualy be a perfect fit, and JCVD himself seems to agree.
"I had a great time shooting The Expendables 2 with Mr. Stallone and other big action stars," he responded via Twitter (although it must have been a DM since the exchange isn't on his feed). "Mr. Stallone is an inventive man. He may even create a stronger character than Claude Vilain, the twin brother of Jean Vilain. Some fans ask me if the next Vilain - if there is a next - is going to be a good guy or a bad guy. I would leave it to Mr. Stallone to decide, as I trust his way of imagination."
A nice Vilain head-kicking and doing the splits on the Barney Ross / Lee Christmas team? We would possibly buy that for a dollar. And it would be far from the first time Van Damme has been duplicated. He also played twins or doubles in Double Impact, Maximum Risk and Replicant.
It's also not the first time the twin idea has been mooted in an Expendables context: Stallone joked about it for a while as a way to bring back Steve Austin. It didn't happen in that instance, so perhaps the time is right?
Or perhaps this is all bollocks, since The Expendables 4 is by no means a done deal at this point anyway. What's certain is that Stallone and Jason Statham are joined in The Expendables 3 by veterans Jet Li, Dolph Lundgren, Randy Couture, Terry Crews and Arnold Schwarzenegger, plus new (to the franchise) faces Wesley Snipes, Antonio Banderas, Kelsey Grammer, Mel Gibson, Kellan Lutz, Ronda Rousey and Harrison Ford. It's set to explode on to screens on August 15, and it's really high time there was a proper trailer.