Written by Tom Phillips in Rio de Janeiro (Guardian, UK) Monday 2 August 2010 Film star could face a £1.36m lawsuit brought by O2, his partners on The Expendables production, his latest action outing Sylvester Stallone in The Expendables: O2, the company he worked with on the production claim he owes them £1.36m In the film he plays a Barney Ross, a fearless, muscle-bound mercenary on a mission to hunt down a murderous South American dictator called General Gaza. But in real life it is Sylvester Stallone himself who is being pursued by the South Americans, after allegations that the Hollywood star left Brazil, where he shot much of his new film, The Expendables, without paying debts of nearly £1.4m. According to the Brazilian magazine Veja, Stallone, 64 who filmed scenes in and around Rio in April 2009 is facing a lawsuit brought by his Brazilian partners, O2, the firm behind Blindness and City of God. "While the Americans were in Brazil, weekly payments were made into O2's account," the magazine claimed. "But as soon as Stallone and his team returned home, the funds dried up." Veja claimed O2's accountants had been forced to hire armed guards after being harassed by unhappy and unpaid employees. Out-of-pocket Brazilian drivers who worked on the production had "threatened to invade O2's offices in Rio". The film, to be released in the UK on 13 August, calls itself "a hard-hitting action/thriller about a group of mercenaries hired to infiltrate a South American country and overthrow its ruthless dictator." Starring Arnold Schwarzenegger, Bruce Willis, Mickey Rourke and British hard-man Jason Statham producers say The Expendables boasts "the most awesome action cast ever assembled". According to the LA Times the "deliriously unironic" film focuses on: "compound fractures, stab wounds bodies flying over sandbags in slow motion, testicle jokes, fiery debris, tropical airstrips, a major amount of C4 explosives, cocaine kilos stacked in a cave, water torture, cigarette-burn torture, tough love and tattoos." In a statement, O2, one of Brazil's most respected production companies, said: "In 2009 O2 performed production services for the film [The] Expendables, directed and acted in by Sylvester Stallone until now, the company is awaiting reimbursement for its expenditure." The total value owed was around £1.36m, the company claimed. O2 declined to comment on reports that unhappy ex-employees had laid siege to their offices. A spokesperson for the film's US production company, LA-based Nu Image/Millennium Films, told the Guardian the accusations were "not accurate". The spokesperson refused to comment further on the allegations. Claims about Stallone's alleged debts followed widespread anger in Brazil at comments made by the Rambo and Rocky star while promoting his new film. "You could blow their whole country up and they'd still say: 'Thanks, here you go, take a monkey home,'" Stallone reportedly said of Brazil at a recent news conference in Los Angeles. Stallone was subsequently forced to issue a statement apologising. "I sincerely ask for forgiveness from the people of Brazil I have nothing but respect for the great country that is Brazil. Love, Sly." In an interview with Brazilian TV on Sunday night Stallone admitted: "That may have been me trying to be too funny."