Rambo creator David Morrell believes his unused concept for Rambo 5: Last Blood had awards potential. The onscreen evolution of the Rambo character has been interesting to track. The original movie First Blood found the character as a traumatized Vietnam veteran who wreaks havoc on a small town after being abused by the local police. In contrast to the high body count of the rest of the series, Rambo only causes the accidental death of one character – in self-defense – and the movie is more of a drama than a straight-ahead action movie.
First Blood: Rambo Part II and Rambo III would change that, turning the character into a larger than life one man army, with an array of weapons and gadgets. These entries came to define the image of the character, though Stallone later reflected with some regret that they glorified warfare. The belated fourth movie came in 2008 and found Rambo as a bitter, disillusioned man who rejects his talent for bloodshed. This angrier take on the character is much closer to the one found in David Morrell’s original First Blood novel, and it proved to be a solid hit.
Rambo 5: Last Blood is currently filming, and finds the ex-soldier tasked with rescuing a friend’s daughter from a Mexican cartel. David Morrell recently revealed Stallone nearly retired from the series when their original concept for the story was rejected, and in a new interview with Digital Spy, the author thinks the movie could have been award-worthy.
The year he was making Creed, [Stallone] phoned me and said that he wanted to make a fifth Rambo movie that would be soulful. And we spoke for about two hours, on the phone, every weekend, for about eight weeks. We had a story worked out that we were thinking would be the kind of movie that would get positive attention at film festivals; that this would, indeed, be a soulful journey. It would have action, but it would essentially be about a man who was in war, and was looking back about what it had accomplished.
Their idea wasn’t met with much warmth by producers, but the author felt the story ‘might have been eligible for some awards.’ After Stallone announced he was retiring from the character Morrell assumed that was that until Rambo 5 was suddenly announced.
Then the next thing I know, they are making a fifth movie, but it's nothing at all like what he and I discussed. It was exciting, [but] I can't talk about it. This would have put everything in a context, about the nature of war, and the nature of a man recalling it. Anyhow, it was sad to me [that it didn't happen]. It was one of those passion projects.
Unfortunately, the author can’t reveal what his and Stallone’s take on Rambo 5 was, but more information on it will probably come out after the movie is released. Last Blood had been in development hell for nearly a decade before it started shooting. Stallone original idea would have found Rambo fighting a half-man, half-monster, and his later commitment to The Expendables series saw the project being constantly pushed back.
Rambo fighting a cartel has been an idea floating around since at least 2011, but it seems Creed inspired Stallone to find a more dramatic, thoughtful take on the character for his last outing. For whatever reason, that concept didn’t go ahead, but if nothing else, the star seems to be genuinely excited to be filming Rambo 5: Last Blood, which will almost certainly be his last outing in the role.
Source: Digital Spy