Sylvester Stallone & Robert De Niro May Team Up for ‘Grudge Match’

Published 3 years ago by , Updated July 23rd, 2013 at 10:00 am,

You read that headline correctly: Rocky Balboa and Jake La Motta – or, rather, the now-sexugenarians who brought them to life onscreen – may face off in a boxing comedy titled Grudge Match.

Speculation that Sylvester Stallone and Robert De Niro could co-headline Grudge Match has been ongoing ever since Peter Segal (Anger Management, Get Smart) closed a deal to direct the film, back in October 2010. Back then, the Grumpy Old Men-style laughfest was based on a script draft penned solely by onetime Arsenio Hall Show staff writer Tim Kelleher.

Jump ahead to the present-day and The Wrap is reporting that Stallone and De Niro have begun talks to work together on Grudge Match. Moreover, the script has now been retooled by a handful of writers – including (most recently) Entourage creator Doug Ellin.

Stallone and De Niro previously shared the screen in the 1997 crime drama Cop Land. Recently, Stallone has been enjoying a trip down memory lane, with his roles in such macho movie throwbacks as The Expendables (and this summer’s sequel), next year’s buddy flick Bullet to the Head, and the currently-shooting prison escape thriller The Tomb. De Niro, meanwhile, has spent the last few years appearing in a variety of action and comedy vehicles alike; that trend will continue in the future, as the acting legend has parts in upcoming titles like Last Vegas (a.k.a. The Hangover with old guys) and Luc Besson’s latest action-comedy production, Malavita, among others.

stallone de niro grudge match Sylvester Stallone & Robert De Niro May Team Up for Grudge Match

Stallone and De Niro (Present-Day)

The respective differences in Stallone and De Niro’s current physique (see above) would, in theory, only heighten the comedy factor in Grudge Match – which will see the pair play former boxing rivals, who return to the ring for one final battle of fists. Segal has a long history of churning out competent (if only occasionally “good”) high-concept comedies as a director; similarly, Grudge Match recalls the setup for Segal’s so-so 1996 comedy¬†My Fellow Americans, which also revolved around a pair of aging rivals (there, ex-presidents).

In short: Grudge Match doesn’t exactly sound like a brilliant variation on previous films about cranky old guys who head out for one last hurrah (Space Cowboys, The Bucket List, etc.), but it could have some entertainment value.

Grudge Match has technically not been greenlit yet, but it’s expected to begin production by early 2013. As always, we will keep you posted.


Source: The Wrap

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  1. DeNiro seems to be doing anything and everything these days, to the discredit of his reputation. Slowly dwindling from my mind is the DeNiro of Raging Bull, Taxi Driver, Cape Fear, The Deer Hunter, Goodfellas, and the like, and replacing him is the DeNiro of The Adventures of Rocky and Bullwinkle and the Fockers trilogy…

    • Was just going to say pretty much the same thing.
      Along with Al Pacino, DeNiro has been in so many bad films lately that it makes you long for the days prior.
      Now I understand that they are both older and there aren’t as many parts for guys their age but come on? It’s getting sad…

      • Why cant rocky 7 come out with stallone verses swarzenneger?

  2. Stallone and DeNiro team up? That could be something great.

    Still the idea of both fighting in a boxing match? That’s something I am not sure about.

    • Why cant they come out with stallone verses swarzenneger in rocky 7?

  3. This actually could be fun, like the supposed RDJ-Tom Cruise flick that’s in the works. Seeing genuine icons squaring off against one another is what movies are all about.

  4. Still no Tango and Cash 2


    • Should have never been a Tango and Cash 1.

      • You should bite your tounge sir!!!
        Tango & Cash is a classic!!

        I hope my sarcasm is coming across. :)

      • Those kind of movies should just never exist.

  5. Isn’t this the originally rejected script for Rocky VII?

    On a serious note , I understand comments made about the likes of Pacino & DeNiro now taking on roles that seem beneath their talent and status.

    I’m afraid that’s what happens in this industry as you get older, with these screen legends starring in lesser roles just for the paycheck or to keep active. This i agree is very much the case with DeNiro, whilst i don’t think is greatest performances will be truly dismissed – he is making it harder for us to remember the great heights in his career.

    It’s happening with everyone. In the 80s and 90s Harrison Ford would never play second billing to the likes of Daniel Craig (Cowboys & Aliens) or Brenda Fraser (Extraordinary Measures) Nicolas Cage seems to star in anything generic every 3-4 months that eventually goes straight to DVD. Even Bruce Willis, seems to be taking more supporting roles to actors with far less star power than what he used to have.

    In this department you have to credit Stallone. He more than any has suffered many lulls in his career and has now regained to an extent, admiration with the general public – with his success from The Expendables. He seems to be more active in movies now than where he was back in the late 90s early 00s. Just a shame he’s at this prolific stage now being 62 years old.

    I still think he wasted a great opportunity post CopLand to gain some more acting respectability (following up with the likes of Driven and D-Tox) but this is just my humble opinion.

    • I think two exceptions to this rule, as you describe, are Anthony Hopkins and Clint Eastwood, as both have aged gracefully in real life and in the roles they have chosen to play on film.

    • They should come out with stallone and swarzenneger in rocky 7

  6. Here’s a match: Stallone and a microwaved hot dog.

  7. I’m perfect for a couple different roles in this movie . I’m driving from Al as I type . You’ll meet me soon . Ill I’m asking for is a Chance . I submitted my profile An 2 months decided to become a pro boxer (been training ) an have expiriance in both the Ring and in front of a cam in movies .

  8. Rocky 7,rocky is 85 and in an nursing home and he fights the male nurse who does not let him eat jello,rocky fights the nurse and wins and then eats the jello and yells yo adrian i did it then passes out and dies,the end.