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Earlier this week, we learned that a TV series based on the Rambo property was going into development, and that Sylvester Stallone was in talks to participate on some kind of creative level, and possibly to reprise the title role. Today comes word that the second half of that information isn't true. If the Rambo TV project does make it to air, Stallone won't be playing the role of John Rambo.
THR posted the update, citing a Stallone representative, who passed along clarification that "no such reprisal is going to happen. The unnamed representative from Rogers and Cowan said that a television series based on the Rambo property is in development, but Stallone won't reprise the iconic role. The rep also said "he himself will not portray the character in the series," which I assume means someone else will. Meaning, there will presumably be a John Rambo in the TV project (as opposed to the son of John Rambo or something).
That makes me think of the Beverly Hills Cop TV show that was in the works, but didn't go forward. In the case of that project, the premise would've been similar to the original film, centering on a fish-out-of-water story about a cop going from Detroit to Beverly Hills, only it was also sort of a sequel, as the show would have centered on the son of Eddie Murphy's Axel Foley. And Murphy would have occasionally appeared in the series. Had Stallone actually been in talks to appear as his old character in the Rambo series, I would've assumed they were doing a sequel to the original films, as opposed to a reboot, whether or not John Rambo was at the center of the project. A reboot starring Stallone would've obviously forced us to ignore the fact that Rambo is in his 60s, wouldn't it? A sequel, on the other hand, could have used the same John Rambo in the modern day, either as the star, or as the father/mentor of the star.
It seems unclear at this point what they're planning to do with this project. The only thing we know is that it's based on the Rambo property, so it's probably safe to assume that John Rambo will be present. To speculate on the possibilities, maybe they're doing a period drama, set in the 80s, that's basically a straight-up reboot of the original films, where John Rambo is a Vietnam vet suffering from PTSD. Or they're going to update it, have new John Rambo be about the same age as Stallone was when he starred in the films, but make new-Rambo's background centered around some more recent military altercation. So it would basically be the same/similar character, only a different war and a different time period. Or maybe they're doing a sequel to the films, set in modern-day and Rambo is in his 60s, and either he's at the center of the story, or he's the Axel Foley in this situation and the TV show centers on his son. Or it's about older-Rambo. In either of those scenarios, it's disappointing that Stallone's not playing the part, since it's his character. But in a reboot scenario, it makes more sense to recast, doesn't it?
There are options here, and since nothing about the premise has been specified, it's hard to know what to make of this news. Either way, even if they are doing a reboot, if this project takes off, maybe Stallone will drop by for a guest spot. In the meantime, we have movies like Escape Plan and Expendables 3 to look forward to!