Sylvester Stallone didn’t get to be one of the most successful movie stars of the 1980s by ignoring the demands of his fan base. While he may be a long way past his blockbuster prime, Stallone is still savvy enough to know when anything from a story element to a title isn’t clicking with the ticket buyers. The difference is, he’s now practical (or humble) enough to act on this discontent rather than arrogantly foist a movie called Stop! Or My Mom Will Shoot on the moviegoing public (much to my dismay).
That’s why Rambo: To Hell and Back is, once again, John Rambo.
And we’ve Harry Knowles to thank for this, as Stallone consulted El Grande Rojo with regards to the title change after reading the violently negative reactions posted to AICN‘s talkback. Stallone’s was concerned that the understated John Rambo moniker might signal a sort of finality to the franchise, as Rocky Balboa did for his signature cinematic saga last year. He may have a point. But since the Rambo movies haven’t been big on subtitles, why start now? And since you definitely don’t want to dredge up unhappy memories of Rambo III by once again going the roman numeral route, why not just stick with John Rambo?
So that’s the plan for now. John Rambo. Opening January 25th, 2008 (against New Line’s no-confidence release of Be Kind Rewind). Read Jason Pollock’s awesome script review to work up your bloodlust. ‘Cuz you want this movie the way Rambo wanted Murdock.