Sylvester Stallone almost quit first Rambo movie over original ending
"I said, 'I don't want to be part of it. I don't. I'm not going to.'"
John Rambo might be one of Sylvester Stallone's most iconic big-screen roles – but the veteran movie star has revealed that he came very close to quitting the first film in the series.
Speaking in Sly – the new Netflix documentary about his life – Stallone explained that he was so upset about the original ending of First Blood that he threatened to permanently walk off the project.
"At the very end, originally the way it was in the script, I am shot by Colonel Trautman and I die in slow motion," he explained.
"I said to the director, 'This is not good.' I don't want everyone who is a Vietnam vet to see this film and [see] me shot and realise, 'Oh, so there's no hope for me at all. None.'"
He added that as he left the set he was screamed at by people involved in production that if he didn't come back it would be a breach of contract.
"At that time, they were losing 20,000 vets to suicide a month," he revealed. "I said, 'I don't want to be part of it. I don't. I'm not going to.'"
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Of course, eventually Sly got his way: after a test screening in Las Vegas went disastrously it was decided to change the ending to the one that eventually made it into the classic film.
Although it initially opened to mixed reviews First Blood went on to become a huge box office hit, with Stallone going on to play the character in a further four films – most recently in 2019's Rambo: Last Blood.
Sly covers various aspects of Stallone's life and arrives amid an influx of Netflix series and films giving all-access looks at famous figures, from Arnold Schwarzenegger to David Beckham and, soon, Robbie Williams.
Stallone had previously opened up in Paramount+ reality show The Family Stallone, which saw him welcome a film crew into his home to follow his family's daily life.
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