After Rambo (aka John Rambo) hit theaters in 2008, Stallone seemed high on playing the character again. He talked up that entry as being the first in a new trilogy of Rambo adventures and that the next one would likely fixate on ol’ John J. eviscerating sex traffickers in Mexico. A few months later, Sly switched gears and declared that the character would be entering sci-fi territory, with Rambo hunting down a genetically-altered beastie that had escaped from a government lab. He would also have a sidekick in tow, with Mickey Rourke earmarked for the part at the time. Naturally, the fans went apeshit and Sly changed his mind*, going back to the Mexico-based plot.
Another handful of months went by and then Sly dropped the bombshell: No Rambo V. Lionsgate fired back, stating that they owned the rights and would make a fifth entry “with or without” Sly. Stallone seemed fine with this and even spitballed that a prequel centering on Rambo’s war years might make for a fine film. A little later on, Empire brought up the subject and this was Sly’s reply:
“It’s pretty well done; I’m about 99% sure there won’t be any more.”
As we’ve previously reported, a script for a Stallone-led Rambo V (carrying the subtitle “Last Stand”) was still commissioned. Sean Hood spoke of the tale they’ve whipped up as an “Unforgiven” for Stallone’s iconic character and word leaked that the Italian Stallion had actually met with Hood about the screenplay. Would it come to pass though, especially with Sly fronting a new franchise (The Expendables)?
Cut to six months later and it turns out the answer is YES. That 1% has come to pass after all. Straight from Hood’s Twitter account this week…
Rambo 5 on hold as Sly finishes Expendables 2. He hasn’t decided if R5 will be an “Unforgiven” or a “passing of the torch.”
If Stallone is in deep enough talks with Hood about whether or not Rambo V will be a franchise-ender or set the stage for a spin-off, then I’d say things are moving along at a decent pace. Sly already has Walter Hill’s Bullet To The Head in the can and set for a late April release this year (trailer supposedly en route!) and is currently finishing up filming on Expendables II. After that, he’s moving onto The Tomb with Schwarzenegger. That ties up Stallone through the end of the year, leaving plenty of time to figure out what direction to take the script in for Johnny’s next rampage and for Sly to lend his own hand to the writing……………….which he most certainly will.
Assuming all goes well, I wouldn’t be shocked to see Rambo V (or whatever crazily numbered title it ends up with) hitting screens sometime in 2014. It seems our Franchise Me series on the saga might be ending up with an update in a couple years…
* – Though not entirely. Stallone has owned the films rights to James Byron Huggins’ Hunter for years now and has been dying to make it. The tale, of course, is basically exactly what he spouted off as his idea for Rambo V. Stallone has since gone back to talking up a proper adaptation of Hunter as a future project, though who knows when or if it will ever come to pass.