John Rambo is, and always will be, one of the legendary action heroes of the modern era. But seeing as he's only mortal, his story was always going to have a definite end. That end was apparently 2009's Rambo, as Sylvester Stallone is officially pulling the plug on Rambo: Last Blood.
Stallone's comments come from a recent interview with Variety, in which he admitted that time has finally caught up with the long developing project. It isn't for lack of trying, especially since Sly has been in training to head back to the role since some time last year. The truth is, a combination of factors that Stallone doesn't have control over have made up his mind for him. He mentions said reasons in the blurb below:
The heart’s willing, but the body says, ‘Stay home!’ It’s like fighters that go back for one last round and get clobbered. Leave it to someone else…. [Rambo 4] was so brutal, which civil war is, I was shocked they even gave me an R-rating. I didn’t want to compromise. I said, ‘This is probably going to be the last decent film of this genre that I’m going to do as a solo act.’ When that was accomplished, I never felt the same willingness to do it again.
It sounds like Sylvester Stallone is starting to feel is age a little bit, and no one could blame him. In the past decade, he's kept both the Rambo and Rocky franchises alive, as well as The Expendables series, with his physical prowess. But as he mentioned towards the end of his quote, a solo act is always harder than working with a group, or even a well groomed protege – much like he did in last year's Creed. So it's not like Stallone is retiring from acting altogether; but rather, he's settling into the role of a wise sage, rather than a front-and-center ass-kicker.
While Rambo: Last Blood has been pitched as either a gritty, realistic fight between John Rambo and human traffickers, Mexican drug cartels, or even some sort of sci-fi beast; no one approach was ever settled upon. Now, with Sylvester Stallone walking away from the lead in the franchise, perhaps Hollywood will let the franchise rest where it stands and honor how far it's come in its expansive legacy. Or maybe they'll finally approach Ryan Gosling for a reboot, bringing Stallone's off-handed casting full circle and rejuvenating the character for a new generation thirsty for action. You know some executive is weighing the pros and cons as we speak.
Either way, you'll be able to see Sylvester Stallone keeping the Rocky Balboa name alive and well in Creed, which is currently in theaters now.