The question as to who is directing Rambo 5 (possibly titled Rambo: Last Blood) seems to have been answered, as the maker of Get the Gringo has been reportedly hired for the job. Whilst Sylvester Stallone is now totally committed in bringing the troubled veteran back to the big screen, it was unknown as to whether he would direct as well, like he did with the last entry in the franchise. But according to reports, Adrian Grunberg is the man who has been chosen to helm the production and will start shooting very shortly.
The Rambo franchise has had an extremely uncertain future since the last movie was released in 2008. Plans for a Rambo TV series fell through and Stallone announced that he had privately 'retired' the character. However, news and rumors about a fifth film started to circulate in 2016 again and was all but confirmed earlier this year. This was backed up by posters appearing at Cannes and Stallone teasing Rambo 5 on social media. Details about the plot, along with some audition tapes, have since appeared online and it appears that the project is now moving forward at speed.
Although Stallone still has a hand in the screenplay, it seems that the actor will not be seated in the director's chair this time around. According to GWW, prolific filmmaker Grunberg has been officially handed those duties. Grunberg is probably best known for making 2012's Get the Gringo, which was also known as How I Spent My Summer Vacation in some territories. Despite being released directly to VOD in the U.S., the film received plenty of positive reviews and is highly regarded in critical circles. A Mel Gibson vehicle (which he also wrote), it's an inventive crime thriller with the lead actor playing a getaway driver trying to survive in a Mexican prison. More recently, Grunberg has served as the second unit director for multiple episodes of Narcos, as well as the first assistant director on Jack Reacher: Never Go Back and on Sense8.
Rambo 5's plot is said to follow the hero's quest to rescue a group of innocent girls who have been taken by a sex trafficking ring, with the titular character teaming up with a crusading journalist to retrieve the victims from across the Mexican border and in lawless territory. In that case, Grunberg would seem to be a very solid choice to lead the project. Whilst the movie is apparently shooting in several locations such as Spain and Bulgaria (possibly standing in for Mexico and Arizona), his experience with filming on-location in Mexico is bound to be useful, along with his action credentials earned from Narcos and other projects.
The same report indicates that shooting is scheduled to commence next month (September) and that further casting announcements are expected shortly. Given that Stallone is now in his 70s, it'll be interesting to see how he handles more bloody high-octane action with one of his most popular characters. If the report is accurate, hopefully Grunberg will be able to do the franchise justice, in what is likely to be the swansong for John Rambo.
Rambo 5 does not currently have a scheduled release date. We'll bring you further updates as we get them.