Currently, television seems the place to be. Over the past couple of weeks there have been a few announcements of popular movies making the move over to our small screens. Notably there was Fargo a little while back and Robert Rodriguez’s El Marichi series earlier this week. Well, add Rambo to that list as Avi Lerner has announced that his Nu Image production company has signed on to co-develop, with Entertainment One (eOne), a TV series based on Avi Lerner’s good pal Sylvester Stallone’s Rambo series. Lerner has stated, “I’m happy to be partnering with a prolific company like Entertainment One who has a track record of creating high quality programming for their broadcast partners around the world.”
The blood-thirsty action packed franchise kicked off in 1982 with First Blood, a very rough adaptation of David Morrell’s novel of the same name, which saw Sly’s Vietnam vet taking on a corrupt small-town lawman. John Rambo has since returned for 1985’s Rambo: First Blood Part II, 1988’s Rambo III and, most recently during Sly’s old-man action come-back, for 2008’s Rambo. Of course, this is not the first time that Rambo has been portrayed on TV. Remember Rambo: The Force of Freedom from 1986? That series lasted 65 episodes! Let’s all hope this new series will be a bit better than that. Perhaps with less shark riding.
“I’m excited by the prospect of collaborating again with my good friend Sly for an encore in this next phase of the Rambo legacy,” commented Lerner, an action movie producing vet who has produced Rambo movies in the past. eOne also seem thrilled by the chance to bring Rambo to the small screen. eOne Television CEO John Morayniss in a statement Wednesday commented, “The ability to fuse the big screen and the small screen through Avi’s feature film expertise and eOne’s domestic production capabilities and international distribution infrastructure, makes for a highly complementary partnership,”
As an added bonus, the seemingly always Stallone is currently in talks to star in the TV series too. Now, in what capacity remains to be seen. I doubt his elderly Rambo will be the focal point of the series. I would love to see a series that documents Rambo’s time in ‘Nam. There is plenty of reference in the movies as to the horrors that Rambo faced as well as his time as a POW. Stallone could easily bookend or even narrate episodes as Rambo as a way of contextualizing how it affected him into becoming the disconnected character that he is in the films.
There is plenty of material to be mined from the Rambo premise and if handled well, it could do what Band of Brothers and The Pacific did in providing a great deal of action and story but also offer a commentary on the war and how it impacted so many peoples lives and the US political landscape.