At this point, the list of older, established movie franchises that aren’t being rebooted is probably shorter than the list of franchises that are — and now we can add the adventures of John Rambo to that list.
Studios Nu Image and Millennium Films are reportedly developing a reboot of the Rambo franchise that will continue the adventures of troubled war veteran John Rambo with a new star and director Ariel Vroman (The Iceman, Criminal) behind the camera. The script is being penned by Brooks McLaren, whose post-apocalyptic survival story How It Ends was featured on the 2010 Black List — the annual list of the best unproduced screenplays making the rounds in Hollywood.
According to The Hollywood Reporter, the reboot of the Rambo franchise will continue the adventures of one-man army John Rambo — famously portrayed by Sylvester Stallone across four films — rather than begin the story anew. However, the report suggests that the character’s original status as a Vietnam War veteran could be updated for a more contemporary take, making him a veteran of the more recent wars in Afghanistan or Iraq.
First introduced to the big screen in the 1982 film First Blood, which was adapted from David Morrell’s novel of the same name, Stallone’s John Rambo went on to appear in three sequels. The most recent installment of the franchise, 2008’s Rambo, was released 20 years after the previous film and featured Rambo rescuing a group of missionaries kidnapped by soldiers of the Burmese military regime. The film was neither a commercial nor critical success, but was reviewed positively by general audiences and praised by Morrell for its gritty portrayal of an aging version of the character in the twilight of his life.
Plans for a fifth Rambo movie have been rumored for a while now, as well as a potential television series based on the character. Earlier this year, Stallone indicated that he didn’t expect to be involved in either of the two projects.
“The heart’s willing, but the body says, ‘Stay home!,” the actor responded when asked about returning to the role of John Rambo.
Stallone seemed similarly skeptical of the Rambo television series, which was reported to feature the character’s son.
“I don’t want to cast aspersions, but it’s delicate to try to replace a character with his son,” he explained. “I’ve seen the son of Flicka, the son of Tarzan, the son of King Kong, the son of Godzilla. It’s a very difficult premise.”
There’s no word on the timetable for the Rambo reboot at this point.