Sylvester Stallone has employed a unique strategy to help promote his latest film, The Expendables - he's been answering questions submitted by the readers of Aint It Cool. When asked about the possibility of a Rambo prequel starring a new (and younger) actor in the title role, Stallone seemed surprisingly receptive to the idea.
Stallone previously stated that the Rambo franchise was done after deciding not to move forward with a fifth film that would have seen the character taking on Mexican drug cartels involved with human trafficking. Stallone's reservations centered around the fact that Rambo's mission in that film would be more of a "mercenary gesture" rather than something confronted out of necessity.
Apparently a pre-First Blood story that depicts Rambo's time in Vietnam seems like a better fit. According to Stallone:
I certainly think this is worth pondering because it’s intriguing to find the whys and wherefores of how people have come to become what they are. The traumas, the loss and the tragedy of being in Vietnam would certainly be a great challenge for a young actor and it would be ironic that Rambo directs younger Rambo after having played it for 20 plus years.
The reader who posed the question mentions that while Rambo's back story is hinted at in the existing films, author David Morell's First Blood novel (as well as his novelizations of the first two sequels) go into much greater deal in regards to the character's history. Despite the fact that this leaves them with plenty of material to craft a Rambo prequel from, I'm not crazy about this idea.
Of course this is 100% speculation at this point and Stallone's obviously not making any sort of official announcement on the matter, but I really hope this never materializes. I know a lot of people were excited about the version of Rambo 5 that had him battling a super-soldier, but I was not one of them. I loved the human trafficking story (which seemed like a much better fit for the Rambo universe) and I was extremely excited to see that film. Despite my disappointment at its cancellation, I understand Stallone's satisfaction with the way Rambo wrapped up the franchise.
However, a huge part of why that ending works so well is the way it pays homage to the opening moments of First Blood. So the reason Stallone finds it unnecessary to go forward is the same reason I feel it's just as unnecessary to go backwards.
I remember when there were rumors of a Die Hard prequel and I didn't understand the point. A film following John McClane prior to the events of the first film would be just another cop movie. I feel the same way about a Rambo prequel. A young soldier struggling with the atrocities of Vietnam? I think that ground has been pretty well covered. What do you guys think?
Source: Ain't It Cool.