Sylvester Stallone is trying to reboot his notoriously bad '80s action movie Cobra as a streaming TV show. After the runaway success of his Oscar-winning film Rocky, Stallone became one of the hottest names in Hollywood, and wasted no time cashing in via a series of classic - and not-so-classic - action films.
Stallone's credibility as an action star was first demonstrated in 1982's First Blood, in which he originated his other iconic movie character, the vengeful Vietnam vet John Rambo. Stallone followed up that success with 1985's ultra-violent Rambo: First Blood Part II, while also churning out Rocky sequels. But Stallone also had his missteps along the way, and one of the biggest happened in 1986 when he played the Dirty Harry-like cop Marion Cobretti in the George P. Cosmatos-directed action film Cobra. Though the film performed well enough, grossing $49 million domestically ($119 million adjusted for inflation), it was panned by critics and is seen today as an example of Stallone's self-indulgent tendencies running amok (though some do view it as a cult classic, and Nicolas Winding Refn even paid homage to it in Drive).
Perhaps surprisingly given the original movie's reputation as a mostly bad action film, Stallone says he actually wants to revisit Cobra with a reboot. Speaking to the assembled media and fans at the Cannes Film Festival's tribute event "Rendez-vous with Stallone," the actor-writer-director-producer said he is currently looking at reviving the Marion Cobretti story as a streaming TV series. Stallone explained what the inspiration was for the original film, and why he thinks it could still work today (via Deadline):
“That (conceit) was what if Bruce Springsteen had a gun? That was rock n’ roll meets drama. That should have been another franchise because that character was so cool. And I blew it. My personal life got in the way. But we’re trying to bring it back as a streaming TV series. Bring out the zombie squad. I’m long gone, but the idea is really good."
The original Cobra starred Stallone as an elite LAPD cop who finds himself protecting a woman (Brigitte Nielsen) who's being targeted by a murderous cult. Amazingly, the film actually began life after Stallone stepped away from starring in Beverly Hills Cop, taking many of his ideas with him and reworking them for a more action-oriented and less-comedic project. Production on the film would prove to be difficult though, as Stallone's ego reportedly got away from him, to the point where he forbade supporting cast members from talking to him. Stallone was also accused of "fooling around" too much on set with then-wife and co-star Nielsen.
From his remarks at Cannes, it seems Stallone views Cobra as a missed opportunity, and now he wants to rectify matters by revisiting the concept and character with someone else in the lead role. Perhaps expanding Cobra into a streaming series might actually lead to something interesting, or perhaps the character of Marion Cobretti would be best left back in the '80s. But the big question is, if the project does go forward, would Cobra fan Nicolas Winding Refn consider directing?