A week ago we brought you the report from all the trades that Rambo 5 had been greenlit by Nu Image / Millennium, and that the story would be a Taken-like rescue mission set on the Mexican border. It turns out only half that story is correct, as Sylvester Stallone explained to Harry Knowles at the awesome Ain’t It Cool.
The true plot, according to Sly, is much stranger, borderline sci-fi territory for the lunkish Vietnam vet. Set back in the Pacific Northwest where the whole saga began, it involves a secret US military installation where experiments are being carried out on elite soldiers, with a view to enhancing their primal savagery. This, needless to say, Ends Badly, and one John Rambo is brought in with a squad to shut the place down.
Now, when you hear about genetically enhanced super-soldiers, you may immediately think of Universal Soldier, or perhaps Paul WS Anderson’s Kurt Russel sci-fi epic Soldier. But you would be wrong to think that, and Sly is way ahead of you. In another message on Harry’s answerphone, he explains further:
“It’s not a super-soldier, it’s a feral beast; a thing. It’s this amalgamation of fury and intelligence and pure unadulterated rage, from before men became human – it’s inhuman! It’s man’s ‘conscious’ fighting his dark, uncontrollable unconscious. It has absolute cunning and intelligence and a will to survive that is only matched by Rambo’s.”
A bit like Predator then, although Sly prefers Forbidden Planet (“where the doctor couldn’t control his mind and his subconscious took over and became a savage killing machine”) as an analogy.
So where the fourth instalment was rooted in a version of reality (Burma, mercenaries, missionaries), Rambo V: The Savage Hunt, as we’re now to call it, will be running off in a far more fantastical direction. The poster above was knocked up for the Toronto Film Festival. Shooting starts in the spring.