The 2008 film Rambo appeared to "retire" its main character similar to how 2006's Rocky Balboa closed on the door on the story of its eponymous protagonist, but ever since then there's been talk about Sylvester Stallone reprising as John Rambo one more time. A new report indicates that Rambo 5 is showing fresh signs of life, despite the project having been on radio silence for over two years now.
Rambo 5, once mistakenly believe to share a lot in common plot-wise with the Hunter sci-fi/thriller book adaptation that Stallone's been working on, reportedly features a script draft by Stallone that pits the Rambo character against Mexican drug cartels. Splendid Film, the Germany-based company that distributed the Arnold Schwarzenegger-starring Sabotage earlier this year, has apparently picked up the rights to a fifth Rambo movie, with Sly confirmed to "return in his iconic role."
The update, featured in a report by Splendid Medien AG (hat tip to Coming Soon), mentions that Stallone describes Rambo 5 as "his version of 'No Country for Old Men'" - which isn't all that far off from what Sly had to say two years back, where it concerned his plan for properly concluding the tale of John Rambo. For those who missed it, here is the relevant quote:
"It’s one thing where you lay down the final culmination of your life where you can articulate it, but also act on it where [Rambo] realizes what his destiny really is. It’s not to be a farmer, it’s not to be obscure; it’s to go out in a blaze of glory in a heroic fashion. But is he really doing it for himself or is he doing it because that’s just his id? That’s who he is.”
Stallone turns 68 in a couple weeks and although he's as ripped as ever, he's been taking steps of late to properly close the door on his career as an action star. Besides Stallone wanting to give Rambo one last hurrah, the marketing for his upcoming Expendables 3 has teased "one last ride," and the last couple Stallone action vehicles (Bullet to the Head, Escape Plan) have offered different variations on the idea of his action star persona preparing to head off towards the sunset. With Splendid Film having picked up Rambo 5 rights so it can distribute the film in Germany, it seems that Sly is now one step closer to saying good-bye to John Rambo as well (for real, this time).
The grisly violence and brutal nature of the Rambo universe would make one last movie installment (should it happen) a grittier affair than the self-aware cheesy macho antics of the Expendables franchise; as far as treatments of the timely subject of Mexican drug cartel violence go, Stallone's Rambo 5 would be a far cry from his buddy Arnold's The Last Stand, for sure.
Question is, does everyone want to see Rambo go to war again, even if it provides the sort of entertainment catharsis for real-world concerns, traditionally offered by the best B-movies? As was said before, the fourth installment Rambo ended on a note of closure - one that managed to satisfy a significant chunk of Stallone's longtime fanbase - and as such, the drum isn't exactly beating loudly for a fifth Rambo feature to be made.
Then again, we haven't heard anything about that Rambo TV series (potentially involving Stallone) since last summer. Similar to how the Beverly Hills Cop TV show was abandoned for Beverly Hills Cop 4 starring Eddie Murphy instead, it could be that the Rambo brand has been judged as being possibly more lucrative on the big screen rather than small screen, at this stage - and thus, Stallone will get to play the character one last time, before the Rambo property is laid to rest at last. (Well, until the theoretical reboot, anyway.)
We'll keep you posted on Rambo 5's development as more details become available.