Sylvester Stallone was undoubtedly a staple of 1980s action films. After finding success in the modern era with The Expendables and recently with his noteworthy role in the Rocky spinoff Creed, Stallone’s name seems to hold water in Hollywood even now. He's currently working on yet another project related to one of his long-running franchises, as it were.
Fox is now working alongside Stallone, Ari Lerner (Millennium Films), and Entertainment One on a Rambo TV series – tentatively titled Rambo: New Blood. However, it appears the fifth feature film installment in the franchise, previously known as Rambo: Last Blood has been indefinitely shelved, as a result.
Deadline reports that Die Hard writer Jeb Stuart is one of the creative forces behind Rambo’s small screen revival, along with Stallone, Millennium Films, and eOne. Unlike the Beverly Hills Cop series developed for CBS, in which Eddie Murphy would pop in every now and then to advise his son, sources claim the Rambo series will feature the aging action hero prominently. However, the primary focus will indeed be on John Rambo’s son, an ex-Navy SEAL 'creatively' named J.R., and his relationship with his father.
A different Rambo TV series was pitched in 2013, but it fell into development limbo. Stallone and Lerner, who collaborated on 2008’s Rambo, have since kept working on making Rambo: Last Blood a reality in the two years since then. Now that Fox has expressed interest in a television series, though, Stallone and co. have switched gears, placing Last Blood into a holding pattern while they develop the series.
The last time Rambo saw action on the small screen was in the 1986 animated series Rambo: The Force of Freedom. While that series fell short of living up to the franchise name, this new TV show has potential. The intergenerational conflict and the current political climate could lead Rambo and Son on a series of thought provoking or at least action-packed adventures. Depending on how it’s written (and Jeb Stuart is no slouch), New Blood could not only be an exciting series but could also probe the issues facing aging veterans and the tolls war takes — as the 2008 film somewhat addressed.
With some Oscar buzz around Stallone’s performance in Creed and the film's initial success, now could be the time for a Rambo series to do well - if given the right budget and angle. Of course, casting will be the key. Having the right actor portray Rambo’s son, one who both looks the part but also has the chops to pull off a complex father-son dynamic, is vital. Stallone’s role in the series will also seriously impact the show and its potential ratings, too.
We'll bring you more information on Rambo: New Blood (and any Rambo projects in general) as it becomes available.