In 1982, when America still struggled with the specter of wars cold and otherwise, John Rambo arrived as a force of unity in trying times. (Well, if you were American, anyway.) While the Rambo films have become synonymous with gun-toting heroics at this point, First Blood is bleaker and wearier than you might remember, a treatise on the human costs of war on all sides, and how heroism is ultimately a relative concept. Even the nihilistic reboot/continuation in 2008, with Sylvester Stallone returning to his iconic role of John Rambo, painted a brutally violent picture of wartime without the theatrics that tend to characterize your average Call of Duty fan’s preferred idea of a war film.
The question then persists of what exactly a reboot of the character might add in a climate currently so fraught with fear and anxiety, where the borders of war are more nebulous than ever before. According to The Hollywood Reporter, Millennium Films is gonna to try and find out as they’re spearheading a reboot of the property. While plot details are largely unknown thus far, the film will be called Rambo: New Blood and “…would not see Stallone return as the action hero, like he did in Millennium’s 2008 outing, but would see a younger actor inhabit the role. The company is looking at Rambo as a character akin to James Bond.”
These plans absolutely hew closer to the Rambo in the installments bookended by the previously mentioned two films; starting with First Blood Part II, the two ’80s sequels were action films in that decade’s excessive, jingoistic tradition, with little in the way of social commentary. It’s unclear who will play the iconic role as of now, though director Ariel Vromen (of this past spring’s Criminal) has been tapped to direct the reboot. But it’s already been confirmed that it won’t be Sly, whoever it might be.
Until we hear more, please enjoy Stallone, gunfire, and explosions: