‘Expendables 4’ role? Pacquiao interested
Last year, Hollywood star Sylvester Stallone reportedly offered Filipino boxing champion Manny Pacquiao a starring role in the latest installment of the action franchise “The Expendables.”
Adding fuel to the rumors was the fact that Stallone and “The Expendables” costar and former California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger were spotted ringside, during Pacquiao’s fight with Chris Algieri in Macau in November 2014.
Stallone and Schwarzenegger reportedly met with Pacquiao in the locker room before the fight and offered the plum role.
According to recent online reports, Stallone is courting Pacquiao, Hong Kong martial arts expert Jackie Chan and American wrestler Hulk Hogan to join the star-studded fourth installment of “The Expendables”—to beef up the action franchise’s box-office chances.
Once again, the rumor mill went on overdrive when Stallone visited Pacquiao in the Wild Card Gym on Sunday (Saturday in Los Angeles), where the eight-division world champion is training for his fight with Floyd Mayweather Jr. on May 2 in Las Vegas.
Did Stallone and Pacquiao finally get to talk about “The Expendables 4”?
The two legends posed for several photographs—one fun snapshot (which shows Pacquiao punching the actor who played boxer “Rocky”) was even posted by the Filipino champ on Twitter.
But as far as movie negotiations are concerned, Pacquiao’s business manager Eric Pineda is not that optimistic.
Interested but busy
The movie role had been on the table for the longest time, Pineda, who is in Manila, told the Inquirer via text message. “[The project] had been offered before,” he said. “And Manny is interested.”
Production, however, will have to work around Pacquiao’s notoriously tight schedule. “Now, he is busy with training and, after the fight, he will be busy with his campaign for the May 2016 elections,” Pineda said.
Politics will inevitably get in the way of Pacquiao’s Hollywood debut.
No, he is not running for president.
Running for senator
Pacman would rather slug it out with Miriam Defensor-Santiago and Chiz Escudero instead of Stallone and Schwarzenegger.
Pineda said Pacquiao “is planning to run for senator.”
Still, it is not uncommon for top Hollywood stars to visit Pacquiao in the gym.
Filipino filmmaker Paul Soriano, who directed Pacquiao’s biopic “Kid Kulafu,” told the Inquirer in a multiplatform interview that the Filipino boxer was treated like a “big star” in the United States.
“Hollywood stars like Mark Wahlberg and Jim Caviezel would line up outside the gym, waiting for their turn to see him. That is the kind of star Manny is outside of the country. He is respected and well-loved,” Soriano said.
“The Avengers” stars Chris Hemsworth (yes, Thor himself) and Jeremy Renner (Hawkeye) are avowed Pacquiao fans, too.
Oscar nominee Liam Neeson agreed to do the narration of the documentary “Manny” because of his admiration for the Filipino pugilist.
Late-night talk show host Jimmy Kimmel, also a known supporter, sang the inspirational walk-out ballad “Lalaban Ako para sa Pilipino” that Pacquiao had composed for the fight.
So will “Kid Kulafu” take Hollywood by storm?
That could very well be his next big fight if Mayweather ends up on the canvas.
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