Quick question: Who would you want to see John Rambo fight more? A bunch of dudes, or a bioengineered super monster that supposedly can't be killed by anyone but the world's greatest hunter? Whatever your answer was, the good news is that a movie is being made to cater to your tastes. The bad news is that it won't all be in one neat little package.
After the release of Rambo IV: Rambo (actual title, don't check that) in 2009, Sylvester Stallone started floating the idea that he wanted to base the next Rambo movie on the pulp novel Hunter by James Byron Huggins. Hunter is about the world's most badass tracker being tasked with hunting down a government-made human-monster hybrid in the cold north. Sounds a little out of Rambo's shirtless comfort zone, but Stallone clearly picked the novel because its protagonist, Nathaniel Hunter (no, really), is already such a blatant Rambo knockoff.
Unfortunately for Stallone, others weren't as interested in the idea of a sci-fi Rambo. The project got shelved after fans complained that a supernatural monster hunting plot simply isn't what a Rambo movie should be about. Just to be clear, we're talking about a series that started out as a serious antiwar drama about PTSD (based on a novel, if you can believe it), and wound up being a series of pro-war shooting galleries in which Rambo mows through battalions of soldiers like he's trying to short the widows and orphans stock market. That's the series that fans were worried would lose its way by introducing a slight supernatural element?
Well, they got their wish. Instead, Stallone is letting the franchise bleed out with Rambo V: Last Blood, a western/Taken riff wherein an old Rambo puts on a cowboy hat and has to save someone's daughter from a Mexican cartel. You know, classic Rambo.
But because Stallone notoriously never wants to let go of an idea, good or bad (looking at you, Stop, Or My Mom Will Shoot), he has decided to make Hunter anyway as a standalone movie, starring in it as some version of the novel's original protagonist instead of John Rambo. Except ... it's definitely still going to be John Rambo. This is Sly Stallone we're talking about. The man doesn't exactly have a lot of range. Rambo is just intense Rocky Balboa. Barney Ross is quippy Rambo. If Stallone ever did Shakespeare in the Park, Hamlet would just be mopey Rocky, and Macbeth would be Scottish Rambo. So if you, like us, were one of the people who'd want to see John Rambo fight the Predator with massive guns and frostbitten nipples, you definitely got your wish as well.
For more weird tangents and his personal recipes for toilet wine, do follow Cedric on Twitter.
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