“The Expendables” – Empire Magazine June 2010

The Expendables make the cover as well as seven page feature story by Chris Hewitt in the June 2010 issue of Empire.  Here are a few highlights…

Sly talking about putting the team together –
“The first one I thought about was Jason.  Then I thought,  ‘Hmm, why not go in a completely different direction, and go with Jet Li? Now it became an international situation. Then I realized I wanted to have a nemesis here, but I didn’t want it to be an indiscriminate choice or an unknown. First I went to Claude Van Damme (sic), then Steven Seagal and  all these action guys.   Either they didn’t see eye-to-eye with me or they had other things on their agenda.”  

According to the article Seagal passed because he had a commitment to Robert Rodriguez’s Machete and his “ludiecrus” tv show Steven Seagal Lawman.  The article goes on to say JCVD publicly passed saying Sly told him he would “make lots of money and no details to his character.”

Sly responded…
“He (JCVD) actually made some comments which were erroneous. I did say the film could be successful and he interpreted it as something else.  I like Claude, but he has his own agenda and I think he started to complicate a rather simple scenario.”

As the cast grew Sly shaped the screenplay to get the most from his new co-stars.

Sly said…
“Everyone one of these fellas had their own film or had their career. They’re all very diverse and distinct personalities.   As these personalities need to be served, it forces me to write for them in a voice that is their voice.  But it constantly changed.  We did about 100 drafts.”

Sly went on to say…

“I’m real happy with it.  Most action films are a one-man show.  This is an eight-man show, and it has a lot of heart.  It’s not about who’s tougher or who’s braver.  I think we got it.”

Sly Checks In With Expendables 2 Update – Updated

FirstShowing scored a, uh, first look at The Expendables 2 teaser poster. Several sites picked up on the image as well as the synopsis that Nu Image posted the storyline for the sequel. I just received a call from Sly’s office. Sly wanted fans to know that the posted synopsis is not correct. The real storyline will be forthcoming, but Sly wanted SZoners to know the truth first! – Craig

Welcome to Rockyland

On December 29, 2010, IFC News posted Matt Singer’s article, “Welcome to Rockyland: Sylvester Stallone’s Viagra Cinema.” In the piece Singer explores Sly’s resurgence to the top at an age when “action stars” have long since retired.  Here are some excerpts:

  • On July 6, 2011 Sylvester Stallone will turn 65 years old. At an age when most Americans are considering their Social Security benefits, Stallone’s career is the healthiest it’s been in decades.
  • His latest film, “The Expendables,” was the first he’s headlined to gross over $100 million in the U.S. since “Rocky IV” back in 1985. Ten years ago, Stallone’s career was dead and he was a joke. Now he’s the world’s leading manufacturer of viagra cinema, movies designed to showcase the aging male frame as it performs unnatural but remarkable physical feats.
  • What Stallone’s done is basically without precedent. All of his former rivals for action film supremacy have faded away or moved on; all of his predecessors turned to moodier and more reflective work by the time they were his age.

  • …the world of Stallone’s viagra cinema: a place of physical and moral decay, the Philadelphia of “Rocky Balboa,” the Burma of “Rambo,” or the corrupt fictional island of Vilena in “The Expendables.” The heroes Stallone plays in these films refuse to concede to the decay around them or bend to the physical limitations of their age. The world may decay; Sylvester Stallone does not.
  • Given Stallone’s age, and the fact that he surrounded himself in “The Expendables” with fresh action stars like Statham and Terry Crews, it seemed reasonable to assume that he was making the film as a symbolic passing of the torch; that it would be about what it’s like to realize you’re not faster than light anymore. Nope. Ross is correct about his skills… “The Expendables” isn’t about making way for a new generation. It’s about putting that new generation in their place and showing them how it’s done. Casting Stallone’s old contemporaries like Dolph Lundgren and Mickey Rourke was good for some chuckles; it was also good for showing how good Stallone looks in comparison to them.
  • In “Rocky V,” when Rocky was forced into retirement (a first time), his constant refrain was “I didn’t hear no bell!” signifying that his life is not over and that he continues to endure. Twenty years later, Stallone is still fighting, still refusing to hear the bell. The longer he refuses, the deeper he gets into Rockyland, the more strangely compelling his viagra cinema gets.

Singer has written an excellent piece and I highly recommend it to all SZoners. – Craig

SZoner’s Rambo Tat

SZoner, Mr. Blackwell recently got his first tat to celebrate, well, let’s let him explain…

Hi, new to here but a BIG Sly fan since 1977…I was 12 and saw Rocky at a school film club. Since then, I watched all of his movies and regard him as one of my ‘heroes’…..hell, I even watched Spy Kids 3 on TV the other day!

I went back into education in 2005 and got a B.A.Hons Degree in Creative Lens Media. My final year dissertation was entitled ‘Rambo, Reagan and Bush: American Politics and the Rambo movies.

I then did a Masters degree and promised myself that I’d get a tattoo if I passed it…which I did.

I thought it might be an appropriate tattoo to share with you folks. As you can see, it is from the publicity posters for the last Rambo movie.

Congrats on the degree and the tat! – Craig

Rocky IV Fan Art

Earlier this week I received an e-mail with the photo above and this message:

Dear Craig!
Happy new year:)

I send you my latest Artwork for your Galleria,that I have finished one minute bevor the new year begins!..no joke:)  since I have startet to paint pictures, I always want to paint a picture from my favourite movie Rocky IV..and this is the result.

This Picture is dedicated to all the Rocky Fans and a very special Girlfriend:)

Thank you and best regards

manuel scholz


Thanks Manuel! – Craig

Sly @ Lakers Game

Actor Sylvester Stallone attends the NBA game between the Miami Heat and the Los Angeles Lakers at Staples Center on December 25, 2010 in Los Angeles, California.

Photo by Victor Decolongon/Getty Images North America.

Thanks to SZoner, Jonathon Becker for the tip!

Andy Kuhn’s Jack Carter

Andy Kuhn does the best sketches!  He is a master of spotting blacks and knowing just what needs to be put in and more importantly left out.  I love Andy’s sense of design so I was extremely pleased to get on his sketch list at Heroes Con and asked him for Jack Carter.  As you can see he rocked it.  You can check out more of Andy’s art at his blog and his DA site.

SZ Exclusive Rambo Premiere Photos

The following message and these pics came to us from SZoner, SlyStalloneFan…

Dear Craig,

SlyStalloneFan is back again with a few pictures that I took during the Rambo premiere in Las Vegas. I can not tell you how excited I was to be at the premiere and to get to see my idol in person (Again). There is nothing more exciting to me than attending a premiere for a movie starring Sylvester Stallone. It was a wonderful night. I got to see the whole cast from Rambo. What was amazing is that Arnold Schwarzenegger was there too. Him and Sly standing a few inches away from me. Talk about great moments in life. So here are some of the pictures I captured. Hope you enjoy them and again I apologize if some were not best quality. Thanks :)

Thanks to SlyStalloneFan for sharing! – Craig

SZoners Rambo Tat

I received the photo above and e-mail below from SZoner, Samantha:

Hello Mr Zablo,
I have followed your website StalloneZone for many years: I love watching for new pictures and others’ fan art of Stallone, as I have always been a big fan of him. I would love it if you would post a picture of my Rambo tattoo that I got yesterday on your website. It was done by Mike Magee in Thunder Bay, ON and Mike hopefully will be sending a photo to Devries, Stallone’s tattoo artist, so that maybe Stallone may see it as well.
Please let me know,
And thank you so much for your time!

There’s no denying that Samantha is a huge Stallone/Rambo fan! Thanks for sharing your body art, Samantha! – Craig