After several years of a fifth ‘Rambo’ with Sylvester Stallone failing to get off the ground, it seems the rights holders have decided to go back to square one without the franchise’s signature star.
The Hollywood Reporter have announced that Nu Image and Millennium Films are at work on ‘Rambo: New Blood,’ a reboot of the character who first appeared in 1982’s ‘First Blood.’
They have a director in Ariel Vromen (‘The Iceman,’ ‘Criminal’) and a screenwriter in Brooks McLaren, but no casting for the title role has been announced.
Reportedly the producers are looking for a younger actor to inherit the Rambo mantle, treating the iconic action hero as “a character akin to James Bond.” This begs the question of whether ‘New Blood’ will be set in the 1980s like the original films, or update Rambo from a former Vietnam POW to a veteran of more recent conflicts in the Middle East.
After the modest success of ‘First Blood,’ a relatively sombre affair based on David Morrell’s novel about a troubled Vietnam veteran’s struggles to adjust to life back home, the character really sky-rocketed in popularity with the more outlandish 1985 sequel ‘Rambo: First Blood Part II,’ which saw the character return to Vietnam in one-man army mode to free American POWs.
‘Rambo III’ followed in 1988, and then there was a lengthy hiatus before 2008’s ultra-violent fourth film, entitled simply ‘Rambo’ (AKA ‘John Rambo’). Plans for a fifth movie (potentially to be called ‘Last Blood’) have been widely reported in the years since, but have never come to fruition.
Relaunching the series entirely without Stallone is a bold move, for as well as headlining all four existing films the actor also co-wrote and co-produced them all. Stallone also directed 2008’s ‘Rambo.’
Stallone has yet to comment on this reboot, but in 2015 he suggested Ryan Gosling as a suitable candidate for the role of Rambo in a then-hypothetical reboot.
No release date for ‘Rambo: New Blood’ has been announced at present.
Picture Credit: Studiocanal, Millennium Films