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November 22, 2014

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Photos: ‘Homefront’ debuts with Jason Statham, James Franco, Kate Bosworth and Winona Ryder

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Erik Kabik/Retna/ErikKabik.com

James Franco and Jason Statham attend the premiere of “Homefront” on Wednesday, Nov. 20, 2013, at Planet Hollywood.

‘Homefront’ Premiere at Planet Hollywood

James Franco and Jason Statham attend the premiere of “Homefront” on Wednesday, Nov. 20, 2013, at Planet Hollywood. Launch slideshow »

Homefront

Homefront

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Kate Bosworth attends the premiere of “Homefront” on Wednesday, Nov. 20, 2013, at Planet Hollywood.

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The Gazillionaire, James Franco and Penny Pibbets at "Absinthe" on Wednesday, Nov. 20, 2013, at Caesars Palace.

The excitement and glamour of Hollywood came to the Strip at Wednesday night’s world premiere of the new film “Homefront” ahead of its national release next Wednesday, even though screenwriter Sylvester Stallone was MIA.

Stars Jason Statham and James Franco were fan favorites at the special screening in Planet Hollywood. Additional security was called in to form a “flying wedge” around them as they walked through the casino mobbed by crowds.

TV cameras, photographers, paparazzi and fans jammed the red carpet that snaked through the casino as Jason and James were joined by Kate Bosworth, Winona Ryder, Izabela Vidovic and Omar Benson Miller from the movie, along with Strip celebrities Holly Madison, Veronic DiCaire, Jeff Beacher, Jaymes Vaughan and James Davis and UFC star Randy Couture. Also there, my pal Chuck Zito from “Sons of Anarchy” and “Oz” who also stars in the film and told me that he starts shooting a new reality TV series in January.

After welcoming VIP guests from the stage and talking about Sly’s script, several of the cast stayed for the screening while others, including Jason, peeled off for a party hosted by Robert Earl in nearby Strip House with producer Avi Lerner. Avi just completed filming “The Expendables 3” in Bulgaria with Jason and Sly and promised that they would premiere that action thriller next summer at Planet Hollywood.

Jason told me before dining at Nobu Caesars Palace with Robert that he did nearly lose his life while filming “The Expendables 3” when he was trapped underwater in a truck, which ran into the Black Sea when its brakes failed.

“I very nearly died,” said Jason. “I can’t talk anymore about it yet because of the legalities and insurance, but it was the day I almost lost my life. I’d have gone in just another few moments.”

Hollywood super-agents in attendance confirmed that there will be an “Expendables 4” and that Bruce Willis will return to the cast now that his pay feud with Stallone has been resolved after being dropped from “Expendables 3.” The two action stars were in a heated Twitter dispute over pay and workdays.

There was cheering and wild applause from the audience as “Homefront” ended, and celebrities and VIPs I talked with afterward predicted that it will be the big Thanksgiving weekend hit.

Said James, who watched “Absinthe” at Caesars Palace while in town: “I love Las Vegas; I think we all do. It was a fantastic reaction to a great big action movie with its heartwarming story of a father beating the bad guys to protect his daughter.”

Our thanks to contributing photographer Erik Kabik of Retna for his photo gallery and Richard Corey for his red carpet video.

Robin Leach has been a journalist for more than 50 years and has spent the past decade giving readers the inside scoop on Las Vegas, the world’s premier platinum playground.

Follow Robin Leach on Twitter at Twitter.com/Robin_Leach.

Follow Vegas DeLuxe on Twitter at Twitter.com/vegasdeluxe.

Follow Sun A&E Senior Editor Don Chareunsy on Twitter at Twitter.com/VDLXEditorDon.

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