Bruce Willis Rejected $122 Million Sylvester Stallone Franchise That Eventually Roped in Arnold Schwarzenegger in Lead Role

Bruce Willis Rejected $122 Million Sylvester Stallone Franchise That Eventually Roped in Arnold Schwarzenegger in Lead Role
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Bruce Willis and Sylvester Stallone’s friendship-turned-enmity is as famous as the actors themselves. Willis has a reputation for asking for the moon when it comes to playing characters. The actor, who dropped his return as Mr. Chruch in The Expendables 3 for an extra million, also rejected Sylvester Stallone’s $122 million Escape Plan franchise, a role that was owned up by The Austrian Oak, Arnold Schwarzenegger.

Sylvester Stallone and Bruce Willis
Sylvester Stallone and Bruce Willis

Bruce Willis Lost A Lucrative Friendship Amid Pay Disputes

Bruce Willis‘ friendship with Sylvester Stallone reached a dead end since he gave up Mr. Church in Stallone’s The Expendables franchise, of course, for an extra million. History repeated when The Sixth Sense actor gave up Escape Plan (2013), which expanded into a $122 million franchise.

Also Read: Disney Forced Bruce Willis into Taking $17 Million Pay Cut for $553M Ben Affleck Starrer Critical Disaster

Sylvester Stallone and Arnold Schwarzenegger in Escape Plan

The role of Ray Breslin, which was meant for Bruce Willis, once again reunited Sylvester Stallone and Arnold  Schwarzenegger, after Stallone was roped in to play Ray alongside Arnold Schwarzenegger, as his inmate friend. The franchise may not have been that big, but it certainly defied the “age before beauty” with these two stars as “prisoners of a science-fictiony maximum-security jail.”

After the success of the first film, Escape Plan 2: Hades and Escape Plan: The Extractors were released in 2018 and 2019. Stallone, who was once Willis’ good friend, developed strong views against the actor since The Expendables 3. During an interview, he called Bruce Willis, “lazy and greedy” after taking Harrison Ford on board for his action thriller franchise.

Sylvester Stallone And Bruce Willis No Longer Talk, And It’s Not Just Aphasia!

Sylvester Stallone was already A-lister when they turned down John McClane’s role in Die Hard, a role that went on to then-unknown Bruce Willis. Little did Willis know that his walkie-talkie moment, ”Yippee-Ki-Yay, Motherf***er!”, would continue to echo across the world. After becoming the face of a cult classic, the actor’s career skyrocketed, making him the most-wanted guy in Hollywood.

Bruce Willis announced retirement in 2022 after being diagnoed with A
Bruce Willis announced retirement in 2022 after being diagnosed with Aphasia

Also Read: “It Was in My Gut”: Arnold Schwarzenegger Scared of Being Terminated by Cancel Culture after Calling Politicians “Girlie Men” for Not Taking Risks

Sylvester Stallone and Bruce Willis may have enjoyed a friendship on-screen and off-screen for years, but their professional feuds certainly outgrew their amicable relationships. During a promotional event of Tulsa King, Stallone was asked if he had spoken to Willis.

The director expressed that “Willis has had a hard time as of late” and the two have been “incommunicado” for a year. While it remains true that Willis, who has a $250 million net worth, faces an inability to understand language and write due to Aphasia, Stallone allegedly had other reasons to keep his distance.


The Escape Plan film series can be rented or purchased on Vudu.

Also Read: “A sure formula for career failure”: Sylvester Stallone Humiliated Bruce Willis in Public for Refusing $3M Pay-Check, Replaced Him With Harrison Ford in Days

Source: IMDb


Written by Mallika Singh

Articles Published: 204

I am Mallika Singh, a lawyer and writer by profession. Writing gives me a sense of freedom and independence. I am a keen observer and an ardent reader. When not at work, you can find me at the stable. Horse riding is another passion that keeps me going.