Stallone skips 'Expendables 2' promotions

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The Expendables 2 poster

The Expendables 2 movie poster (Image credit: Lions Gate Films Inc. / AP)

(AP) – The cast of “The Expendables 2″ say they’re giving co-star and writer Sylvester Stallone space after the death of his son last month. Stallone’s 36-year-old son Sage died on July 13 in his Los Angeles home – a day after Stallone was joined by Arnold Schwarzenegger and other “Expendables” stars at Comic-Con in San Diego.

“Something like that is so severe. You can’t really do anything. I sent him a handwritten note. I contributed to a charity for his kid,” said Dolph Lundgren, one of a number of aging action stars featured in the film, which opens Aug. 17.

“He knows we’re thinking about him,” Lundgren said at a recent media event for the film. “He knows us. He knows our prayers go out to him. But what are you going to do? I have two kids. And all you can do is hug your kids and go thank God it didn’t happen to you.”

Stallone has not made any public appearances since the death. His publicist said in a statement that the star was “devastated and grief-stricken.” No cause of death has been announced.

Sage Moonblood Stallone was the oldest of Sylvester Stallone’s children and co-starred with his father in two films: 1990’s “Rocky V” and 1996’s “Daylight.”

Mixed-martial-arts veteran turned actor Randy Couture said the cast was missing Stallone during promotion of the film, which includes a European trip and next week’s Los Angeles premiere. “He is the leader of this group, both on-screen and off-screen. And so we miss him here,” Couture said. “But we understand. We’re parents. We have kids. We can’t really imagine what he’s going through now. But what do you say? … So we’re giving him space.”

Co-star Terry Crews, a former NFL player turned actor, said the cast would handle publicity for the film to allow Stallone time to grieve. “The best thing that we can do right now is hold it down here for him. This is his baby,” Crews said. “This is one thing that he came up with that he’s changed the world yet again. And I’m proud to be here and repping for him. Whatever he needs, we got him.”

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