Sylvester Stallone and Jackie Chan are filming a movie together

Scott Waugh is set to direct Jackie Chan and Sylvester Stallone in “Ex-Baghdad,” which is poised to become one of the biggest Chinese action movies ever.

After Sylvester Stallone withdrew from the fourth and final installment of “The Expendables” franchise back in March, he had an open slot in his schedule, and that gap has now been filled. The two iconic action stars, Jackie Chan and Sylvester Stallone, will be joining forces for a new action-thriller titled “Ex-Baghdad,” which is expected to be one of the most significant Chinese film productions to date. Although the exact start date for filming hasn’t been confirmed, Sylvester Stallone looked to this project as his next venture after the collapse of “Expendables 4.”

According to Deadline, Scott Waugh, known for directing “Need for Speed,” is set to helm the film, with a script penned by Arash Amel, writer of “Grace of Monaco.” The story revolves around a Chinese private security contractor (Jackie Chan) assigned to rescue Chinese workers at an oil refinery in Mosul, Iraq. When he discovers that the attackers have plans to steal a fortune in oil, he partners with a former Marine (Sylvester Stallone) to thwart their scheme.

Jackie Chan’s name has frequently come up in connection with “The Expendables” franchise, and there were speculations about his appearance in the final sequel. “Ex-Baghdad” is interesting in that it mirrors the roles Sylvester Stallone and Jackie Chan played in their first collaboration on the big screen. Their initial joint effort was in a movie considered one of the biggest flops ever produced, titled

“An Alan Smithee Film: Burn Hollywood Burn.” In that film, they portrayed exaggerated versions of themselves as aging action stars who team up for a high-budget action film that turns out to be a disaster. The movie-within-a-movie featured a wisecracking Whoopi Goldberg. The real movie was so poorly received that the director, Arthur Hiller, replaced his name with “Alan Smithee.”

Jackie Chan will produce “Ex-Baghdad” through his SR Media company, alongside Qi Jianhong, Esmond Ren from Talent International, and Hans Canosa. SR Media and Talent International will also provide financing for this action-thriller. While it’s not confirmed whether production will take place in China, it seems likely, and there’s potential for it to become a U.S./China co-production, although that hasn’t been confirmed yet.

At this time, the film doesn’t have a U.S. studio attached, but given the involvement of two major action stars, it may not be long before an American distributor comes on board.

Prior to Sylvester Stallone’s departure from “The Expendables 4,” it was intended to be the final installment in the franchise. With Stallone no longer attached, the project’s future remains uncertain, and even Arnold Schwarzenegger stated that he wouldn’t return unless Stallone was part of the sequel. Nevertheless, Stallone has been keeping busy with other projects.

He recently wrapped production on “Escape Plan 2,” with a third installment of the “Escape Plan” series already in the works. He can also be seen in the hit film “Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2” as Stakar Ogrod.

Jackie Chan’s recent projects include “Skiptrace,” an action-comedy with Johnny Knoxville, and his voice role as Monkey in the animated comedy sequel “Kung Fu Panda 3.” He has also appeared in “Railroad Tigers” and “Gong fu yu jia” and is attached to several sequels, including “Shanghai Dawn,” a follow-up to “Shanghai Noon” and “Shanghai Knights,” where he stars alongside Owen Wilson, as well as the long-awaited “Rush Hour 4” with Chris Tucker, although that project has been in development for several years. He has also lent his voice to two animated comedies, playing Mr. Feng in “The Nut Job 2: Nutty by Nature” and Sensei Wu in “Ninjago.” Hopefully, more details about “Ex-Baghdad” will emerge soon.

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