Sylvester Stallone is back in theaters today with his latest action genre throwback feature, The Expendables 3 - but what's next for the hard-working (and impressively ripped) 68-year old Hollywood icon? Well, just a while ago we got a surprise update on Rambo 5, which has otherwise been on radio silence for the past two years; by the sound of it, the slow-developing project has begun picking up speed, and could well be Sly's next starring vehicle.
2008's Rambo seemingly brought closure to the tale of Vietnam war veteran John Rambo (Stallone) - but that was before the conversation about a fifth Rambo movie started to go somewhere. A Rambo television series has also been proposed in the past, but the rights to Rambo 5 were picked up by Splendid Film just two months back.
Vulture, during an interview with Stallone for Expendables 3's arrival on the scene, asked the actor/filmmaker about the status of Rambo 5 (which reportedly already has a Stallone-penned script in place). Sly's answer to the question, which has been included below, indicates that he expects that project to be his next.
"I’m getting ready for ['Rambo 5']. I’m starting to work out. I’m going to be appropriately vicious and all that stuff, but intellectual. A killer with a heart. Smart, yet stupid. Tall, yet short. Broad, but thin. You know what I mean. We’re going to try to cover all the boundaries."
Last we heard, the Rambo 5 screenplay pits the rugged warrior John Rambo against a Mexican drug cartel threat. Sly's script almost certainly lends itself to another brutal action/thriller - one that is more on the level of the hard R-Rated 2008 Rambo film, as opposed to Sly's recent Expendables features. Rambo 5 may also have a fittingly somber, end of an era feel to it - "his version of 'No Country for Old Men'," as it has been described before.
Rambo (the 2008 film) brought the title character's ongoing journey to what, for many moviegoers, seemed to be an appropriate final resting spot. On the other hand, Rambo 5 has the potential to find a uniquely Stallone-ish way to address the timely subject of Mexican cartel violence - while also allowing John Rambo to fulfill what Stallone views as the character's destiny ("to go out in a blaze of glory").
In other words, Rambo 5 could wind up being a satisfying, entertaining, and perhaps even poignant conclusion to the Rambo franchise - beyond what the 2008 installment accomplished. One hopes that it manages to be all that, anyway, since it sounds as though Stallone's determined to see the project through to the end.
We'll continue to keep you up to speed on development for Rambo 5.