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Stallone Talks The Expendables

In an interview with The Hollywood Reporter, Sylvester Stallone talked about modern day marketing, and then shifted the conversation to action films in general and The Expendables in particular.
"Action films have evolved," said Stallone. "People assume that The Expendables is old school, but it's only old school because that's the way I know how to make an action film. It's pretty real. What's evolved in the past 20 years is this sort of 'technical' action film, which is very grand and big and really unrealistic... Everything in The Expendables, I tried to make feasible. If you look at people that have survived crashing in the mountains and lived up in the snow for 40 days -- it's possible to do extraordinary feats. But some things -- jumping out of a plane at 30,000 feet without a parachute -- that's not happening.

"I've got a situation I call 'one stunt too far.'" he added. "In Cliffhanger, I had written a scene where my character jumps across a ravine that's 15 feet across, but it's 5,000 feet straight down. That's scary. It's only 15 feet, a good broad jump for a high school student. But you also have to grip the side of the wall. It's called the 'queen's leap.' It's actually done in real life. (In the scene) the bridge falls and I have to jump 15 feet. When I got there, the stunt man was hooked up and he jumped, probably, I don't know, 250 feet, and lands flush against the wall with probably 8 Gs (of force), which would've smashed him like a bug. When this ran during test screenings, I'd say a third of the audience left. And I knew that was gonna happen. I said, 'The scene was written for 15 feet, guys. It has to be believable.' And they went back and cut like 200 feet out of the jump and the test score went from like a 42% approval rating up to 90%. Just one stunt blew the whole suspension of disbelief."

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Hollywood Reporter

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