First Blood author David Morrell mourns unused, soulful Rambo 5 idea

First Blood Sylvester Stallone

A great novel written by David Morrell and titled FIRST BLOOD was published back in 1972. It told the story of a Vietnam War veteran named Rambo, who brings war back home to the states when he's bullied by some small town cops. In the pages of the book, Rambo goes on a full-bore killing spree and ends up getting killed himself, taking a shot in the head from his military mentor. The 1982 film adaptation starring Sylvester Stallone softened things a bit - Rambo only kills one person in that movie, and that's an accident, and in the end he survives so he could go on to become the heroic lead in a series of action movies. 

None of this was in line with Morrell's original vision for the character and his plight (and at one point there was even a Rambo cartoon), but the author did stay involved with the franchise over the years, writing novelizations of RAMBO: FIRST BLOOD PART II and RAMBO III. I really wish he would have written a novelization of 2008's RAMBO as well. His involvement with the latest film, RAMBO 5: LAST BLOOD, which is currently in production, almost went even further than that.

Speaking with Digital Spy, Morrell revealed that he and Stallone had worked together on crafting an idea for a fifth RAMBO movie... but that idea is not the sequel Stallone is working on now.

The year he was making CREED, [Stallone] phoned me and said that he wanted to make a fifth Rambo movie that would be soulful. And we spoke for about two hours, on the phone, every weekend, for about eight weeks. We had a story worked out that we were thinking would be the kind of movie that would get positive attention at film festivals; that this would, indeed, be a soulful journey. It would have action, but it would essentially be about a man who was in war, and was looking back about what it had accomplished. It was exciting, [but] I can't talk about it. This would have put everything in a context, about the nature of war, and the nature of a man recalling it. Anyhow, it was sad to me [that it didn't happen]. It was one of those passion projects."

The RAMBO 5: LAST BLOOD that Stallone is making is about what happens when 

John Rambo, who has been working on a ranch, crosses the U.S./Mexico border to help find the kidnapped daughter of one of his close friends. He quickly finds himself up against the full might of one of Mexico’s most violent cartels. 

The film is being directed by Adrian Grunberg, and Stallone's co-stars include Paz Vega, Yvette Monreal, Sergio Peris-Mencheta, Oscar Jaenada, Adriana Barraza, and Joaquin Cosio.

We'll have to wait and see how good the film turns out to be, but Morrell believes that if Stallone had gone forward with the idea they worked on together that their version of RAMBO 5 could have been "eligible for some awards", much like the first ROCKY and CREED earned Stallone Oscar nominations.

While I'm glad Stallone is making the version of RAMBO 5 that he is, as I've been wanting to see that idea get brought to life ever since he first brought it up soon after the release of RAMBO, the thought of a more dramatic and soulful Rambo movie that could've earned Stallone some awards does sound intriguing to me. Maybe it's something Stallone could circle back to someday... if only he weren't calling the one he's making right now "LAST BLOOD".

Source: Digital Spy



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