In the grand tradition of other film-to-TV projects like Limitless, Minority Report, and CBS' aborted Beverly Hills Cop series, Sylvester Stallone's long-running (and apparently not-completely-dead) Rambo franchise is being adapted into a drama series for FOX. Here's how they're describing the project over at Variety:
Fox is suiting up for a reboot of Rambo, ordering a script for a one-hour drama based on the iconic Sylvester Stallone film franchise.
The long-gestating project, which is executive produced by Stallone and Avi Lerner, plans to pay homage to the movies. Titled Rambo: New Blood, it will explore the complex relationship between Rambo and his son, J.R., an ex-Navy SEAL.
Let's start with the hot-take reaction: a Rambo TV series?! Focused on Rambo's son?! Rambo has a son?! Did you even see the last Rambo movie?! It was somewhat racist! And horrifically violent! Don't people love the Rambo movies specifically because of their (admittedly spectacular) violence? Won't a drama eschew said violence in favor of something that isn't really Rambo? Don't these people know anything? All remakes, spin-offs, and reboots are useless dumpster fires we have never been pleased with, and there's probably no reason to get excited about this one! Rabble, rabble, rabble!
And now, a more measured reaction: as bizarre as this seems, FOX's Rambo seems like it's going to be built on a solid foundation. You've got Jeb Stuart (the original Die Hard, The Fugitive) scripting and executive producing, and the word on the street is that Sly is being courted to reprise his second-most famous role for the series (let's hope he says yes, because there's no way this thing works without his involvement).
Let's not forget how hard we laughed when they announced Hannibal.
And let's also not forget Ryan Coogler's Creed, which opened last week and proved - to a frankly shocking extent - that not all spin-offs and reboots have to be dumpster fires (if I were a betting man, I'd wager that the rapturous response to Creed played a part in FOX's decision to move ahead on this pilot). Rambo would involve a different creative team and come at us via an entirely different medium, obviously, but...what can I say? I'm riding high on Coogler's film, and for the moment I'm feeling optimistic. Wary and suspicious and well-aware that my optimism will probably not be rewarded, but optimistic, nevertheless.
What do you guys make of all this?