The Straight Sequel
In A Nutshell: Sly was talking loud and proud about having Expendables sequel ideas up his bicep-hugging sleeve well before the first one was in the can. So, let’s suppose for now that we’re simply up for more of the same. Even though that's the one thing he says we're not getting.
Who's In It? Exactly the same lot as this time around - including mere cameos once again from Messers Willis and Schwarzenegger.
Pros: Um...well, something else about knocking despots from power. Look, if you liked the first one, you'll be loving this.
Cons: And there's the rub, pretty much, if you didn't.
The Straight Prequel
In A Nutshell: We plunge deeper into events that led up to the first installment, via the buddies-at-war history of Stallone's crack mercenary team.
Who's In It? Again, the same rabble...plus a few juicy extras who didn't survive through to the events that followed.
Pros: We're mainly interested in gleaning more detail on how so many of them came by such daft names, to be honest. Seriously now, ' Toll Road ' ...?
Cons: A coherent back story is surplus in a testosterone tsunami - when Dolph Lundgren is a rogue sniper, who cares about his motivation?
The Comedy Version
In A Nutshell: Sly brings a sack of his loveable old Rocky -isms to the table, while everyone else gets a fat quota of slick one-liners and slapstick pratfalls to deliver.
Who's In It? Largely the same cast, but with a few '80s comedy stalwarts in there for good measure - cue Murphy, Chase and Ackroyd cameos?
Pros: Hopefully some of the most deliriously OTT trigger-pulling quips in cinema history.
Cons: Prepare to see the internet swamped in YouTube remixes, fan spoofs and animated avatars until every last ounce of humour - accidental or otherwise - has been thoroughly wrung out.
The Young Guns
In A Nutshell: A direct sequel in the sense that it takes place some years on, this time boasting a revamped cast cherry-picked from the next generation of long-in-the-tooth action men.
Who's In It? A handful of Cruise/Jackman/Damon/Craig types join the less aged original cast (Statham, Austin, Crews). Stallone plays a retired mentor figure in paisley slippers.
Pros: Only elder statesmen still getting decent work would be up for a little self-parody.
Cons: Conversely, any former golden boys who had genuinely gone to seed would most likely turn it down in a big stampy strop.
The Van Damme Vehicle
In A Nutshell: Sly desperately wanted buddy Jean-Claude in the first movie, but it never happened as the Muscles from Brussels claimed his character lacked depth. So this time, it's all about him. A one-man show, with thorny emotional issues aplenty.
Who's In It? Jean-Claude Van Damme. In fact, his name is so stupidly massive on the poster, it may even be the title of the movie. It's hard to tell.
Pros: There'll probably be quite a lot of kicking going on.
Cons: There might well be a fair bit of 'acting', too. Adopt the brace position now.
The Sticky End
In A Nutshell: Same basic crew, but every member ends up shot to confetti, beaten to a pâté, or garrotted with their own tonsils. Relentlessly bleak, oddly satisfying.
Who's In It? All of the original cast, each dispatched in reverse order of billing via increasingly horrific methods.
Pros: Not that we harbour a worrying cinematic bloodlust or anything, but some of the later death sequences are going to be quite fantastically grim.
Cons: They'll try to slip in a 'message' somewhere about the horrors of war, won't they? Not really what we came for, if we're brutally honest.
The Alien Version
In A Nutshell: Space! They go into space! With more or less the exact same sort of task as in the first film. Only this time they've got plasma weapons, and the evil dictator has gills and can shape-shift at will.
Who's In It? All the big names again, but doubling up on roles so that they all end up fighting evil alien versions of themselves and getting horribly confused.
Pros: Did we mention space?
Cons: It's quite a long and expensive trip to the Gamma 17 asteroid belt (or wherever) - the budget is pretty much screwed. They should have at least two or three senior travel cards between them though, so that'll help.
The Low-Rent Version
In A Nutshell: Sly fails to secure the backing to make part two, and yet popular demand forces him to try. He stays true to the spirit of the original - a big matey '80s muscle-off - but he's got to trim that wage budget.
Who's In It? Chuck Norris, David Hasselhoff, Hulk Hogan, Mr T, Carl Weathers, William Shatner and Don Johnson.
Pros: It would actually be the funniest thing we've ever seen.
Cons: Steven Seagal's beef with Avi Lerner derailed his requested cameo first time out, so we can't see him changing his mind for this lot. And we need him in it. Preferably doing lots of running (opens in new tab) .
The Evil Expendables
In A Nutshell: What sort of shape would things take on if we were presented with a gang made up of the all-time greatest '80s villains, rather than heroes? (We don't know, but for some reason we're picturing a giant Spam with a curly moustache.)
Who's In It? Alan Rickman, Bolo Yeung, Kurtwood Smith, Thomas F. Wilson, Robert Englund, Rutger Hauer, Chucky from Child's Play .
Pros: Just imagine the devilish 'electrified shark pit'-type horrors this lot could dream up together.
Cons: With so much evil on one set, there's a good chance the script might consist solely of demented cackling.
The Oestrogen Expendables
In A Nutshell: Testosterone levels couldn't have run any higher in part one without viewers risking of spontaneous bollock multiplication. Bring on the shit-kicking she-wolves...
Who's In It? Rie Rasmussen, Uma Thurman, Milla Jovovich, Charlize Theron, Kate Beckinsale, Rhona Mitra, Gillian Anderson.
Pros: Look, we don't want to sound shallow, but...can we watch this one on our own?
Cons: We've never known quite how much is too much - just look at us, for God's sake - but we suspect this could well be pushing some fairly dangerous boundaries. Defibrillator on standby, please.
The Animated Version
In A Nutshell: Crotch-kicking cartoon time. We're basically imagining a weird, probably deeply unstable fusion of The Powerpuff Girls , Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles and full-on A Scanner Darkly -style rotoscoping.
Who's In It? A much bigger part for Arnie - we're sort of fixated on the idea of rotoscoping him.
Pros: They could tweak fight scenes to ridiculous levels of awesome. Not quite this (opens in new tab) , but we'd certainly hope they exploited animation world's slack physics.
Cons: If the notion of a rotoscoped Arnie is getting us a bit shouty, the notion of a cartoon Lundgren is making us want to arm ourselves with a giant eraser.
The Edgar Allan Poe Version
In A Nutshell: Sly has been banging on for years about making the definitive Poe biography. What if he's promised a crack at an Expendables sequel, but told that Poe is a definite no-go? Why, a mash-up of course...
Who's In It? The original cast, but fleshed out with bizarrely offbeat gothic horror cameos and a weirdly poetic lilt. Stallone always talked about wanting Downey Jr or Depp to play Poe, so let's have 'em both in there somewhere.
Pros: Christopher Lee's a shoo-in. Sly might bust a few verses.
Cons: It would be otherwise completely unwatchable.
The Survival Horror
In A Nutshell: Actually, thinking about the Poe thing (see 12), what if The Expendables sequel was done as a full-on modern horror? Armies of drooling, twitching undead facing waves of '80s action hero uzi fire sounds like fun to us.
Who's In It? 17,000 cannon-fodder extras. No need for a full pack of mercenaries here: let's say just Stallone, Lundgren and Jet Li, holed up in a zippy tent with one pack of HobNobs between them.
Pros: The highest body count in the history of the movies.
Cons: Even we might be starting to feel bored by the 197th cheesy trigger quip. They'd be coming at a rate of three a minute.
The Quantum Leap
In A Nutshell: The mercenaries are guinea pigs for a sci-fi CIA mission, bounced back through time to bump off history's most evil dictators at the height of their voter-opressing naughtiness.
Who's In It? Plenty of opportunity here for some great dictator cameos - Kevin Spacey as Hitler, anyone? Bill Murray as Stalin? Jackie Chan as Genghis Khan?
Pros: It'd be like a sort of entrail-splattered version of Bill & Ted's Bogus Journey .
Cons: Now we come to think of it, there was probably a very good reason why Bill & Ted's Bogus Journey wasn't particularly entrail-splattered...
In A Nutshell: Ok, so not a title to be taken too literally - we're just thinking of a superhero spin-off, and couldn't resist the cheap gag. This is the one where all the main characters have fallen into a vat of radioactive goo or something, and emerged with weird powers. Like, er, being stretchy.
Who's In It? Stick with the established cast for this one - we really want to see Statham as a lightning-speed dervish in a cheeky nod to Crank . And Rourke already looks kinda stretchy.
Pros: Set-piece heaven.
Cons: It'd look like something Pixar knocked up in a lunch break.
The Skankin' Years
In A Nutshell: There's a moderately-known ska band from California called The Expendables. We like the idea of Sly and co having to pull off a hit (a murder, not a popular single) that requires them to go undercover as said band.
Who's In It? Draft in a few acting-meets-musician names - Wahlberg, McGregor, and Marilyn Manson as the overgrown emo kid. Although how the hell he'd go undercover in a ska band we're not sure.
Pros: The soundtrack would probably be sort of amusing, in a faintly queasy way.
Cons: Alternatively, it might provide a decent excuse for a couple more world wars.
The Wrestling Years
In A Nutshell: Since we've already got two real-life fighters and Mickey 'The Wrestler' Rourke in the cast, let's see what happens when the crack mercenary unit forms a sort of insane pro-circuit tag-team to finance their collective retirement.
Who's In It? Ditch everyone who's not a wrestler, and draft in ones who are. Your choice - definitely Hulk Hogan this time, mind...
Pros: We'd support them. Although we'd probably stop short of a big foam hand.
Cons: They'd all look terrifying in Spandex. Like, more so than normal humans.
In A Nutshell: Shame to end it on a 'proper' idea - well, such as they are here - but this is arguably the one we'd actually really like to see. The story of the project, from concept to wrap party, and all the doubtless-amazingly-bizarre trailer antics we've been having weird nightmares about.
Who's In It? The cast, of course! Plus Seagal and Van Damme, explaining precisely why they were too mardy to appear.
Pros: It'd be genuinely interesting. And we want to know Arnie's fully on board for the 'real' sequel.
Cons: Fifty quid says they've already done it for the DVD.