The Expendables 3 is the type of testosterone-heavy, all-guns-blazing action film that you wouldn’t expect would have much time for a gay couple – except maybe to shoot them for not being manly enough (and I’m not joking, it happened quite a lot in 1970s and 1980s films).
However many were surprised by a scene towards the ends where it’s suggested two of the movies action heroes might be more than just friends. If you don’t want to know who, stop reading now as we’re going into SPOILER ALERT mode.
The scene in question comes towards the end, when Sylvester’s Stallone’s Barney Ross is talking to Trench (Arnold Schwarzenegger) and Yin Yang (Jet Li), who’ve shown up to help save the day.
After Ross asks Yin Yang, “So, you’re working for Trench now?”, Yang and Trench lean in closer together, grinning, to which Ross responds, “You guys want to get a room?”
“We don’t need a room!” Trench replies, pulling Yang towards him so the younger man’s head is resting on his chest.
When watching the film, many weren’t sure whether the scene was just a joke, or if it was genuinely saying Jet Li and Arnold Schwarzenegger’s characters were in a relationship together.
However now the film’s director, Patrick Hughes, has stepped forward to say he thinks the characters are indeed involved. When asked by Grantland if he thinks the characters are a couple, he replied, “I believe they are.”
If correct, it would be the first time Schwarzenegger has ever played a gay character.
Indeed he’s had a bit of a mixed record on gay rights, as while he’s been seen a broadly supportive of gay people in private, during his time as Governor he vetoed same-sex marriage bills twice and it was also on his watch that Proposition 8 – which sought to put a gay marriage ban in California’s constitution – was enacted.
However since leaving office he’s conducted at least two same-sex marriages, suggesting that his opposition to gay rights was more political (he was a Republican govenor, after all) than personal.