If six pounds of pure plutonium is enough to change the balance of the world, imagine what five tons will do.—Jean Vilain.
Jean Vilain is the main antagonist of The Expendables 2 and the leader of the Sang. He is a martial artist mercenary and terrorist leader who plans to bring the world to its knees with five tons of weapons-grade plutonium.
Fighting the Expendables
Jean Vilain crosses paths with the Expendables in Albania when he captures their newest and youngest member, Billy "The Kid", and demands that they drop their weapons and give him the case with the coordinates to a abandoned Soviet plutonium mine. After the team drop their guns and give the case to Jean Vilain, he has Hector hold Barney Ross's knife to Billy "The Kid"'s chest as he kicks it into Billy "The Kid"'s chest, killing him as the Expendables watch powerless to do anything about it. In so doing, he becomes the vengeful group's target.
Later he finds the weapons grade plutonium and excavates it. After gaining the plutonium he attempts to transport it by plane, but is stopped by the Expendables and their allies, Trench Mauser, Mr. Church and Booker. Trying to buy some time for the plutonium to be loaded in the plane, he, Hector and his soldiers battle the Expendables and their allies. After Jean Vilain draws Barney Ross to him they have a gun fight and Jean Vilain runs out of bullets, Jean Vilain goads Barney Ross into facing him in a fair fight. The two do battle and are evenly matched until Jean Vilain wraps a chain around Barney Ross's neck and throws him to a lower level. Jean Vilain follows and picks up Barney Ross's knife, which he had dropped earlier on, and begins taunting Billy "The Kid" while approaching Barney Ross. Barney Ross, however, gets a hold of a chain and uses it to give Jean Vilain a severe beating, striking him twice across the face and leaving him dazed. Barney Ross goads Vilain into standing up, and Jean Vilain, knowing all to well that he is beaten, complies, and does nothing to stop Barney Ross wrapping the chain around his neck, pulling him close and stabbing him through the heart with the same knife he had used to kill Billy "The Kid".
- Jean-Claude Van Damme was approached personally by Sylvester Stallone for a role in The Expendables, but he turned it down due to taking more care in selecting roles. Following the film's success, Van Damme expressed regret at not having participated and willingly accepted a part in the sequel.
- Stallone has claimed that filming the final fight scene between Barney Ross and Jean Vilain is something he was looking forward to for a long time. At the start of the battle, Barney Ross punches Jean Vilain several times in the stomach like a boxer, possibly referencing Rocky Balboa, a famous fictional boxer also portrayed by Stallone, and the real Barney Ross himself, the deceased boxer after whom Stallone's character is named.
- Van Damme claimed at the premiere of The Expendables 2 that Jean Vilain has a brother, Claude Vilain, who may serve as the role of main antagonist for The Expendables 3. This however did not happen due to unknown reasons. Many abs speculate about a role vor Van Dame as Claude Villain in The Expendables 4.
- Van Damme's characters, Jean and Claude Vilain, are an obvious reference to his own first name.
- Though little to nothing is known about Jean Vilain's past other than his time serving in the French Foreign Legion, Van Damme has stated that he himself thought up a suitable background for the character with help from fellow actor and friend Robert De Niro. De Niro was Stallone's first choice to play James Munroe in the first film before Eric Roberts was cast. Van Damme apperead as a French Foreign Legion soldier in two previous movies: Legionnaire and Lionheart.