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What’s the Future for the Rambo Franchise?

June 15, 2019 | Posted by Steve Gustafson
Sylvester Stallone Rambo: Last Blood

Rambo: Last Blood has stayed under the radar for the most part and when the trailer hit a couple of weeks ago, many fans were like, “Wait. They’re doing another Rambo?”

With a title that has “Last Blood” in it, you expect it to be a nice bookend to the franchise and maybe a way to launch a reboot with someone new, like it was rumored a couple of years ago.

Sylvester Stallone has other ideas though.

Stallone said he would be open to do more if this move connects with fans and makes some money. Speaking at the Cannes Film Festival he made his feelings known. “Let me just say something about the last’ of anything,” Stallone said. “I thought Rocky 3 was the last, you know. So I don’t know anything. If it works I’ll just keep going, you know, because I enjoy it so much.”

Getting to this point has been a bumpy ride and I feel they missed a huge opportunity to reposition the franchise a decade ago. Back in 2009, Stallone announced plans for a fifth chapter called Rambo V: The Savage Hunt. The plot would be loosely based on Hunter by James Byron Huggins; a tale that pits a man born out of his time against the future’s deadliest creation.

If you’re familiar with both properties, you know it would have been a perfect mix.

The Savage Hunt would follow Rambo leading an elite special forces kill team to hunt and kill a genetically engineered creature. This would add a new angle to the mix and open the door to a number of possibilities for the franchise to explore. Most obvious being a crossover with the Predator and Aliens franchises.

For one reason or another it didn’t come together and in 2011, Sean Hood was hired to write a new script, apart from The Savage Hunt, titled Rambo: Last Stand. A more intimate project and one that Hood described as “more in line with the small-town thriller of First Blood“. The project stalled and in 2012, Hood stated that Rambo V was put on hold while Stallone completed The Expendables 2.

It was to little fanfare that Stallone revealed that Rambo V was no longer in production in 2016 with Milliennium announcing plans to reboot the Rambo series, with no involvement from Stallone.

Rambo: New Blood would be the title of the reboot and would have made Rambo younger and as a James Bond type of character, with a new actor portraying him every few movies.

Money talks and Stallone returned to the mix with Adrian Grunberg directing. Thanks to reasonably small budgets, the Rambo series has been a sold, but not quite spectacular, money maker with the worldwide box office tally reading:

First Blood: $125,212,904
Rambo: First Blood Part II: $300,400.432
Rambo III: $189,015,611
Rambo: $113,244,290

With any new chapter to an aging franchise, the big question is will audiences return to see Stallone do his thing in today’s landscape? Action movies aren’t what they used to be but Stallone seems to have a good grasp on what his demographic wants.

What’s your thoughts on Rambo: Last Blood?