Roshmila Bhattacharya (MUMBAI MIRROR; May 1, 2017)

Mirror (October 28, 2016) was the first to report that The Expendables, the popular American action franchise, conceived by Sylvester Stallone who even directed the first in the three-film series, is gearing up for a Hindi version. The news instantly fuelled speculations about who would step into Sly's shoes.

Now, Mirror has learnt that it could be John Abraham. "Yes, I've been approached for the film, I'm happy and honoured. I've always admitted that I am a Stallone fan. Every time I watch one of his films, I hope for an Indianised version, and The Expendables can definitely lend itself to a desi avatar because it's a truly entertaining and commercial film which has done better business outside of North America," he reasons.

Nilesh Sahay, who is co-producing and directing the film, informs that he had mentioned John's name to the original producers, Avi and Yariv Lerner, and they had been impressed with his persona. "I told them that if there was a fourth instalment, he was the guy from India. And when he decided on an Indianised version set in a hyper real world in the near future with relevance to today's times, John's was the first name that came up. He is on the cusp of being one of the biggest action heroes we've seen from India," Nilesh asserts, saying the film will roll next year.

John, who believes Nilesh is a director Hindi cinema needs because he can execute action cinematically in the true sense of the word, warns that this film needs exhausting and exhaustive prep. "Nilesh is planning to put every actor through the grind physically before we roll because if you can't cope with the serious hardcore action, you are likely to pass out mid-way," he says, adding that he himself is 'bloody' prepared to dirty his hair and feet, get cuts all over his body and even break a few bones too. "That's what makes The Expendables one of the biggest franchises in the world," he points out.

The original featured Stallone, Arnold Schwarzenegger, Jason Statham and Jet Li.