Sylvester Stallone may have just finished shooting the upcoming “Creed II” with Michael B. Jordan, due to premiere next month around Thanksgiving, but he does not seem to be slowing down with the film projects just yet. There is already another movie on his to-do list, and again it involves bringing back another one of the characters that cemented his legacy as a Hollywood star: trouble-magnet war veteran John Rambo. Stallone’s last appearance as Rambo was in the franchise’s fourth film in 2008, two decades after the third. Well, “Rambo V” is coming, but the character is in a new locale with a different look.
The Hollywood Reporter tells us that Sylvester Stallone has begun dropping teases on what fans might expect with “Rambo V”, revisiting the action hero archetype that he helped elevate to blockbuster form back in the eighties. Surely there must be a way to keep the material fresh from having lots of sequels, and Sly may have done a masterstroke with his reveal of photos on Instagram in costumes for John Rambo. Rather than the familiar headband-wearing shirtless gun-toting jungle warrior, the now-older, grizzled, troubled veteran is more dressed for a ride on the range instead.
For “Rambo V”, Stallone seems to be going all-out to depict Rambo the soldier as more of a cowboy. The costume photos were taken on the first night and day that principal photography began on the film, under the direction of Adrian Grunberg, whose past credits include assisting director Mel Gibson on 2006’s “Apocalypto”. One photo shows Sly in full wrangler getup: ten-gallon hat, faded shirt, jeans with riding chaps and gloves. The second shows him on horseback, with a raincoat over the rest of his clothes, apparently taken in the middle of a scene. Here Stallone whimsically comments, “…Comes a horseman wild and free.”
Why would John Rambo be going about as a cowboy? It comes back to the ending of the fourth film, where the old soldier decides to leave his isolated home in the jungles of Southeast Asia (following yet another little “war” that he reluctantly takes part in), and returns to his father’s home in Arizona. Note that the first Rambo film and the book it is based on, “First Blood”, has Rambo stateside trying to adjust to civilian life. It looks like he will be trying a second time in “Rambo V”, and as Arizona is part of American cowboy country, he is appropriately attired.
None of Stallone’s costars have been revealed, though the plot, written by Matthew Cirulnick, will involve Rambo running afoul of a Mexican drug cartel and finding himself fighting all over again. “Rambo V” is slated for the fall of 2019.
Image courtesy of El Comercio