Mel Gibson in talks for ‘Expendables 3’

Controversial 'Lethal Weapon' star expected to join Sylvester Stallone action franchise

Mel Gibson is expected to sign up to play the villain in the next Expendables film.

The third instalment Sylvester Stallone-written franchise is to be released in August 2014, and will see Stallone, Jason Statham, Terry Crews, Dolph Lundgren and Randy Couture return from the previous two. Wesley Snipes, Nicolas Cage, Jackie Chan and Milla Jovovich have also either signed up to Expendables 3, or are in talks to do so.

The villains in the first film, released in 2010, were played by Eric Roberts and former WWE star Steve Austin, while Jean-Claude Van Damme appeared in the second as the aptly named Vilain.

The film, which unites the biggest action stars of the 1980s and 90s, could be just the vehicle for Gibson to revive his career. He fell from grace in Hollywood after a series of well-publicised misdemeanours, including a 2006 incident during which, while being arrested for driving under the influence of alcohol, he made anti-Semitic remarks to the arresting police officer although the news wasn’t reported until the event was leaked in 2011.

He later apologised to the Jewish community and entered rehabilitation for alcoholism. There were other incidents where it was reported he’d used racist and homophobic language, and in 2010, he was issued with a restraining order by former girlfriend Oksana Grigorieva, mother of their daughter Lucia, after she reported him for dometic violence. He later pleaded no contest to a battery charge.

Asked last year if Hollywood was a forgiving town, he replied “no”, although he has starred in favourably received films The Beaver and Get The Gringo, and will next be seen in Robert Rodriguez’s sequel Machete Kills. There are also plans to make Lethal Weapon 5, pencilled in for release in 2015.