Helmer to direct sequel for Lionsgate, Nu Image/Millennium

Brit director Simon West is coming on board to helm an “Expendables” sequel for Lionsgate and Avi Lerner’s Nu Image/Millennium Films.

CAA, which reps West, confirmed West’s attachment Wednesday. West most recently directed “The Mechanic” for CBS Films.

“The Expendables 2” has been in active development in recent months with Lionsgate announcing that the second “Expendables” would open domestically on Aug. 17, 2012. Lionsgate used the same mid-August frame last year to launch the ensemble actioner, which grossed $102 million Stateside and another $170 million outside the United States.

Sylvester Stallone directed “The Expendables,” also starring Bruce Willis, Dolph Lundgren, Jet Li, Jason Statham, Steven Austin and Mickey Rourke with a brief appearance by Arnold Schwarzenegger.

Lionsgate CEO Jon Feltheimer said on May 31 the company’s results going forward should reflect “growing momentum” from franchises like “The Hunger Games,” “The Expendables” and “What to Expect When You’re Expecting.” Such titles, he added, will have the capacity to generate more consistent year-to-year film performance.

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