Movie Article

'The Specialist': Knock on Woods

Tommy Lee Jones did it to Steven Seagal in Under Siege. Tom Arnold pulled the same trick on Arnold Schwarzenegger in True Lies. But Sylvester Stallone will not be the latest action star upstaged by a second banana. According to sources, additional footage of Stallone was added to The Specialist, scheduled to be released Oct. 7, after costar James Woods (who plays a former CIA agent gone bad to Stallone's bomb expert) got high marks from audiences during a test screening. Woods' character ''gets all the good jokes, all the good lines,'' agrees Specialist editor Jack Hofstra. Stallone will now be shown thrashing baddies in a hotel kitchen and beating up thugs who refuse to give up a bus seat for a pregnant woman. One fight scene was even reshot: Where test audiences once saw Woods whip Stallone, Sly now emerges as the victor—though a Warner Bros. spokesman maintains the switch was done for clarity.

Director Luis Llosa explains the changes were made for the sake of action, not ego. ''It wasn't to neutralize one character or enhance another,'' he says. ''Audiences expect to see Stallone kicking ass.''

Originally posted Sep 30, 1994 Published in issue #242 Sep 30, 1994 Order article reprints