Quite possibly the most iconic sequel in Sylvester Stallone’s classic Rocky franchise, Rocky IV has undergone a massive overhaul. After Stallone's continually teasing the recut version of the film, Rocky IV: Rocky vs. Drago - The Ultimate Director’s Cut, loyal fans of Rocky Balboa’s mythic boxing legacy can now get their first glimpse at the finished product. Releasing the first trailer to the world, ahead of its November 11th release date, this new version looks like an absolute knockout.
Visually, Rocky IV: Rocky vs. Drago looks as gorgeous as it did when first released in 1985. Teasing new scenes, as well as “40 minutes of never-before-seen footage,” this Fathom Events screening has “must see” written all over it for Rocky loyalists. Nowhere is that more pronounced than in this trailer, which pretty much retells the entire story of Rocky IV, but with newly restored footage, and the promise of enticing extras. If there’s any problem to be found with Rocky IV: Rocky vs. Drago, it’s that this theatrical event is for one night only, on the previously confirmed release date of November 11th.
Even if you’ve seen Rocky IV a million times over, Rocky IV: Rocky vs. Drago is practically made with that fact in mind. This is especially true, thanks to Sylvester Stallone’s previous announcement that his recut Rocky IV would include a documentary entitled Keep Punching: The Present Meets the Past. Though, if that’s not enough to sweeten the deal, let’s not forget that Rocky IV: Rocky vs. Drago - The Ultimate Director’s Cut is also cutting the infamous SICO scene for its newly refreshed return to theaters.
It’s not just fans of the classic Rocky movies that should be paying attention to Rocky IV: Rocky vs. Drago - The Ultimate Director’s Cut. Readers who have entered this saga through the two films in Michael B. Jordan’s Creed spin-off saga should also take note of Rocky IV’s revisions, as they could potentially enhance Donnie Creed’s story so far. It’s a scenario that both keeps the Rocky franchise alive and well, while also setting the table for Creed III’s eventual release.
Moments like this are a perfect example of the future being in the past. Should Rocky IV: Rocky vs. Drago - The Ultimate Director’s Cut performs well, who knows what could happen? Maybe Sylvester Stallone has an alternate cut of Rocky V that would see fans actually embracing the film for a change? Or, perhaps, it’ll just be enough to convince MGM to release a huge 4K box set, containing each Rocky and Creed entry, before Creed III.
If you’re ready to see Rocky IV: Rocky vs. Drago - The Ultimate Director’s Cut in theaters, tickets are now on sale through Fathom Events. Don’t fret if you’re not looking to head out to the movies though, as this new version of the film will be available for digital rental on the following day, November 12th. So if something else on the 2021 release schedule has caught your eye for that weekend, you won’t have to wait too long to catch up.
CinemaBlend's James Bond (expert). Also versed in Large Scale Aggressors, time travel, and Guillermo del Toro. He fights for The User.
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