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Sylvester Stallone, who experiences the passage of time differently from the rest of us and is still somehow living in the 1980s, has found a way to revive yet another one of his iconic tough guys, this time for the small screen. THR reports that Entertainment One and NuImage are developing a TV series based on the Rambo movies, and Stallone is in talks to join, both on a "creative level" and with the potential to play Rambo once again.
Stallone has played Rambo four times, first in the two beloved films First Blood and Rambo: First Blood Part II, and then much less successfully in 1988's Rambo III and 2008's Rambo. To be fair, all four of those movies made a good bit of money-- the TV show wouldn't be happening if they hadn't-- and the 2008 Rambo, along with 2006's Rocky Balboa, emboldened Stallone enough to take his action star legacy to the brand new Expendables franchise, which is on its way to a third installment.
If it weren't for the crazy success of the Expendables movies, I would argue that the world has moved past the insane violence and anger of Rambo, and a story about a disaffected Vietnam veteran ought to remain back in the anti-Soviet 80s. But Stallone, God love him, has somehow found a way to keep getting audiences, even through nonsense like Bullet to the Head, which only made $9 million but that was $9 million more than it deserved. The only real problem with a Rambo TV show is that the signature violence will have to be cut in half-- even on HBO's Boardwalk Empire, they don't go as insane as a given Rambo movie does. Given how many generations of people have grown up knowing Rambo only from cable re-runs, they might be able to tone down the violence and have most fans not even notice the difference.
I've hated every Expendables movie and I really hated Bullet to the Head, but I've long since learned to stop underestimating Stallone and his power of the 80s time warp. The Rambo TV show may or may not ever show up on Spike TV or some other macho basic cable network that can handle some machine guns, but the idea behind it makes some crazy, Reagan-era sense.