Before there was John Wick and Beatrix Kiddo. Before Chuck Norris jokes and Jason Bourne, and Schwarzenegger’s Commando, there was a John J. Rambo. American-Made killing machine and all around sad dude. And now he’s back.
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.
Chuck Norris. That should be enough to make any action hound jump up in joy. It’s a sequel that’s a prequel so we should be in for a wild ride here. We don’t learn much about Chuck other than he is bad ass (which we already knew) but we learn a little more about his surroundings and the reason he is a bad ass in part one. Okay, you want more plot information, well here you go. Chuck plays Colonel James Braddock, a mostly quiet, reserved guy keeping an eye on his troops. You see, it’s just after the Vietnam War and these poor soldiers have been held captive by the evil Colonel Yin for 10 years.
Normally when I start these articles I give a little introduction to what type of film I’m going to be talking about, but in this case I don’t really need to. For example – have you seen Predator? Sure you have, it’s a great piece of 1980’s action. Okay have you seen Robocop? Well if not – why not, the remake will be out soon so get a move on!
My buddy Aaron is a bartender for a certain movie theater here in Michigan, and on occasion, the theater will have advanced screenings for movies the Wednesday night prior to the film’s release. Well early this Thursday morning I got a few texts from my good friend about his thoughts on Stallone’s newest epic one-liner fest…