Sylvester Stallone Is Retiring From Playing Rambo

Rambo First Blood 1982 Sylvester Stallone
Courtesy of Orion Pictures

Despite saying for years that he was working on a script for “Rambo V,” Sylvester Stallone revealed in a new interview with Variety that he has no intention of reprising his role as the iconic military war hero.

“The heart’s willing, but the body says, ‘Stay home!,’” Stallone, 69, explained in this week’s cover story. “It’s like fighters that go back for one last round and get clobbered. Leave it to someone else.”

Stallone noted that he was content with where 2008’s “Rambo IV” left the character, which he first played in 1982. “You know when you realize there’s nothing more to pull out?” Stallone says. “As an action film, I was very satisfied that it dealt with the Burmese situation. It had one foot in a current event, the longest civil war in history, 65 years at that time. It 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.”

He added: “There’s nothing left. When they asked me to do another ‘Rambo,’ I said, ‘If I can’t do better than I did last time, and I can’t, then why’?”

He’s also not involved in the “Rambo” TV series, which is in development at Fox and focuses on the character’s son. “I don’t want to cast aspersions,” Stallone said, “but it’s delicate to try to replace a character with his son. 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.”

For more from our interview with Stallone, where he discusses “Creed” and playing Rocky Balboa for the seventh time, read this week’s Variety cover story.

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  1. John Rambo is best I love him very much I love to see his films.

  2. Tim says:

    Ending the Rambo series on a high note has always been a good idea, and we had that. There was nothing promising about Rambo: Last Blood. Yet, even that was better idea than this very short lived TV show Fox is putting together will be.

    I’ve always felt any new Rambo films should be a prequel saga, even with Stallone reprising to kick it off, picking up where Rambo ended and his reunion with his father. The story would begin by Stallone narrating the answer to the question his father asks: “What happened to you, son?” That could have happened in TV form as well.

    Now John is expected to have an unknown kid all of a sudden filling his father’s shoes? No thanks. I won’t support that.

  3. Jacob Conrad says:

    He took the long walk down the driveway let him die!

  4. Thank goodness. I really enjoyed the last Rambo movie, and saw it as a fitting end to the characters’ story-arc.

    The TV series however (if there’s no chance of cancelling it), should be about Rambo in Vietnam, and not about his son. It was never even mentioned that he had a son, or even a significant other. The guy lived in solitude 80% of his life. He doesn’t have a son. Make it a prequel, and show the early days of Rambo in the war, in his prime.

  5. Ron W says:

    I agree with his comments. But I don’t think the TV series should be about his son, it should be about a young John Rambo growing up, how he was recruited, his SF training and his relationship with a then CPT Or MAJ Troutman. Maybe even tie his the relationship with his SF team. I think a show about his sone is going in the wrong direction.

  6. yvonne says:

    It will be a dad day, but understand..
    U still THE MAN……

  7. Sharon says:

    As rough as Sly is looking these days, retiring is not such a bad idea.

  8. michael says:

    Its wonderful

  9. Rationalist says:

    Dang. I really enjoyed part four. Please reconsider, Sly, and direct it yourself.

    • Muther Pucker says:

      I think he’s right. The fourth part ended perfectly with him coming home… when he started out as a drifter, haunted by nightmares of his past. Now his story is done. I think carrying on with Rocky is great though. Becoming the Mickey character where he can inspire other fighters is perfect. The Rocky movies and character have always inspired many people, if he can continue to do that, awesome.

  10. Our long national nightmare is over.

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