It's been 34 years since Sylvester Stallone and Dolph Lundgren first shared the screen together in dramatic fashion for that classic Rocky IV rivalry, and the two action icons are getting ready to work together yet again for a new TV show. The project, titled The International, was first announced a couple of months ago and already great news has surfaced.
As of now, The International has a put pilot commitment set in place at CBS, the most-watched network on TV (when not accounting for NFL games). That's huge news for Sylvester Stallone and Dolph Lundgren, who aren't exactly the most well-known TV personalities at this point. It appears that CBS was the big winner of a huge bidding war for The International, which was initially shopped around to just about every television-minded company and studio in the biz.
While a put pilot order isn't a guarantee that a project will eventually get ordered to series, it's essentially the next best thing, since the network would get slapped with a stiff penalty if the pilot would fall through. Given the sound of this thing, and the people involved, The International does not seem destined to end up on the back of a dusty shelf somewhere.
For The International, Dolph Lundgren is set to star as Anders Soto, a wunderkind covert black-ops agent employed by the U.N. When problems are too fragile and labyrinthian for everyone else to handle, that's when Soto is called in to figure out the solution that no one else thought of. His verbal and mental skills are used for his duties as a negotiator, and his myriad other attributes play into his job as an international spy.
At this point, Dolph Lundgren is the only one of the two Expendables vets who is set to take an on screen role. Sylvester Stallone, meanwhile, will serve as an executive producer through his Balboa Productions shingle, and he will also be helming the pilot episode for CBS. (Lundgren also gets producer credit for the drama.) One can only hope that someone finds a way to get Stallone involving on the acting front.
The International is being written and executive produced by TV vet Ken Sanzel, who created the ABC series Reef Break and wrote for such shows as Blue Bloods and Numb3rs, where he was also an executive producer. Flame Ventures' Tony Krantz and Braden Aftergood will executive produce alongside Craig Baumgarte, with CBS Television Studios being the studio, according to Variety.
This one-hour drama marks the most recent team-up between Sylvester Stallone and Dolph Lungren, who did not start off as best friends back in the Rocky IV days, when Stallone first cast him as Ivan Drago.Thankfully, their relationship blossomed over the years, to the point where Stallone called Lundgren up for each of the three Expendables movies, and they went head to head for the Rocky spinoff sequel Creed II.
Should The International get ordered to series, it would be only the second lead TV role for Dolph Lundgren, who has made more of an effort to appear in more TV shows in recent years. His first marquee role was for the first-run syndication drama SAF3, which only lasted 20 epiosdes. Arguably his biggest TV role to date has been as Konstantn Kovar on The CW's Arrow, though appearances in hit comedies like Workaholics and It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia only help to boost the actor's cred with other genre fans.
This would also be the first time that Sylvester Stallone, whose Rambo: Last Blood recently hit theaters, set himself up behind the camera for a small screen endeavor. The actor also has ideas for a Rambo prequel, but those plans are in the early stages.
Speaking of early stages, that brings us back around to The International, and our hopes that Sylvester Stallone and Dolph Lundgren's new TV show gets ordered to series in the nearest of near futures. Make it happen CBS!
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Nick is a Cajun Country native and an Assistant Managing Editor with a focus on TV and features. His humble origin story with CinemaBlend began all the way back in the pre-streaming era, circa 2009, as a freelancing DVD reviewer and TV recapper. Nick leapfrogged over to the small screen to cover more and more television news and interviews, eventually taking over the section for the current era and covering topics like Yellowstone, The Walking Dead and horror. Born in Louisiana and currently living in Texas — Who Dat Nation over America’s Team all day, all night — Nick spent several years in the hospitality industry, and also worked as a 911 operator. If you ever happened to hear his music or read his comics/short stories, you have his sympathy.