Two Stallone Characters That Were Supposed to Die But Didn’t

Recently Mental_Floss  posted 14 Movie Characters Who Were Supposed to Die But Didn’t by Rudie Obias.

Guess who had two characters in the top 14?  That’s right, Sly and here’s what was said:

4. Rambo // First Blood

In the novel First Blood, Rambo commits suicide at the end of a long battle with Sheriff Teasle. Rambo’s death scene was filmed, but Sylvester Stallone saw the potential for a new franchise, so Rambo lived to fight another day in the final version.

 

5. Rocky Balboa // Rocky V

Rocky V was supposed to be the last movie in the franchise, and Stallone ended its screenplay accordingly, with Rocky Balboa dying at the hands of rival Tommy Gunn during a street fight. But during production, director John Avildsen got a call from executives telling him, “‘Oh by the way, Rocky’s not going to die,'” he recalled in 2014. “‘Batman doesn’t die, Superman, James Bond, these people don’t die.” Stallone wrote a new ending featuring Rocky and his son Robert Balboa jogging to the Philadelphia Museum of Art and looking over the city’s skyline.

Special Editions of David Morrell’s First Blood Trilogy Coming!

David Morrell, Rambo and Sylvester Stallone fans get ready to be excited!  

Gauntlet Press in collaboration with Borderlands Press have special editions of David Morrell’s Rambo trilogy set for publication starting in 2015.

Leading the way will be Morrell’s First Blood special edition which will feature…

…essays by David Morrell and by New York Times bestselling author Steve Berry as well as the never-before-published outline for the novel and the original first chapter.

As excited as I am for the special edition of First Blood, I am equally excited about the hardcover special edition treatment that David Morrell’s Rambo II and Rambo III novels will get.  Anyone who has ever read them will understand.

For more information check out Gauntlet Press’ First Blood by David Morrell page.

How “Cliffhanger” and “First Blood” Were Affected by Test Screenings

On October 10, 2014, Den of Geek posted 51 Movies and How They Were Affected by Test Screenings.  Two of Sly’s movies, Cliffhanger  and First Blood  made the list.

 

CLIFFHANGER

Interesting one, this. In the trailer for Renny Harlin’s 1993 hit Cliffhanger, Sylvester Stallone is seen jumping from one cliff to another. It’s a 40 foot leap, and when test audiences were presentated with this, they guffawed. The reason? They just didn’t buy it could be possible. As such, the jump was re-edited – ironically needing the help of some CG work – to make the jump appear shorter. Nobody guffawed. It made it to the film.

FIRST BLOOD

Another ending story this one, and in this case, Sylvester Stallone probably owes the test audiences of his first Rambo film a cut. In the original story, John Rambo perished at the hands of Trautman. This is also what happens in the novel upon which Rambo is based.

Yet the test audiences were not happy with this, and demanded that Rambo lived. Sylvester Stallone duly obliged, along came a new ending, and when Rambo went on to be a huge hit, the sequel – First Blood: Part II – followed shortly.

Now, Stallone is getting to work on Rambo 5. Every time he does a balance enquiry at his local brand of NatWest, he must do a silent grin to himself…

Rocky and Rambo PodCasts

Earlier this week, I received the following e-mail:

Hi Mr. Zablo,
I’m Mat Bradley-Tschirgi, Producer of the Sequelcast, a podcast looking at movie franchises. I’d thought you and your StalloneZone readers would be interested in checking out the podcasts we did of the Rocky films this past month. We also covered the Rambo films a few years ago. The podcasts might contain brief moments of explicit language.
Here are the links:
ROCKY III (Guest Paul Goebel of Beat The Geeks): http://traffic.libsyn.com/sequelcast/sequelcast170.mp3
ROCKY IV (Guest Eric Lichtenfeld of The Ultimate Stallone Reader): http://traffic.libsyn.com/sequelcast/sequelcast171.mp3
ROCKY V (Guest Ryan Hoss of the Super Mario Bros. The Movie Archive): http://traffic.libsyn.com/sequelcast/sequelcast172.mp3
ROCKY BALBOA (Guest West Anthony of The Auteurcast): http://traffic.libsyn.com/sequelcast/sequelcast173.mp3
FIRST BLOOD (Guest David Morrell [author of the original First Blood novel]): http://traffic.libsyn.com/sequelcast/sequelcast31.mp3
RAMBO (Guest Eric Lichtenfeld [author of Action Speaks Louder]): http://traffic.libsyn.com/sequelcast/sequelcast34.mp3
Keep up the good work with StalloneZone. The Expendables 3 looks to have a mightier cast than the second. I’m just wondering where Barney’s goatee went in all the promo shots for the film.
Thanks,
Mat Bradley-Tschirgi
***
Thanks Mat for the kind words and the links to the Stallone-related podcasts! – Craig

Ted Kotcheff Talks Sly, “First Blood” and More

On March 31, 2014, HeyUGuys posted an interview with director Ted Kotcheff who talked about working with Sly on First Blood   and a lot of other things.   Here are some tidbits…

The received wisdom in Hollywood was that Stallone only worked as Rocky, so my decision to hire him wasn’t championed.

I sent the script to Sylvester regardless, and he called me the next day to say he loved the idea. I’ve never had such a quick and positive response from a star in my whole career in the business (laughs). He only had one request, and that was to do a rewrite on the script with me, to which I agreed. One of the biggest strengths Sylvester has is a great populist sense of what works. He knows what audiences like and dislike in a film.

 …[an] idea he [Sly] had was to keep John Rambo silent throughout the film. Directors love extreme ideas like that (laughs).

 We always considered Rambo to be on a suicide mission, which was how the original script ended. The moment he crosses that bridge he knows his outcome and it’s not going to end well, but he’s doesn’t care because as far as concerned – there isn’t a place left for him in American society anymore. The way it was written originally, [Colonel] Trautman was going to put an end to it all but instead hesitates, so Rambo grabs his weapon and pulls the trigger, blowing himself away. We shot that, which was brilliant, but Sylvester came over afterwards and said the audience would hate us for putting this character through everything only to have him killed at the very end.

 

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