Well it appears that the recent failures of 80s action stars has not stopped the studios from investing in other action properties; but now, it seems that new properties like The Last Stand, Escape Plan or Sabotage will disappear, as the 80s actors return to their tried and true properties of the past (The Terminator Genesis and the eventual Die Hard 6). Now, I would be amiss if I did not point out that sequels or reboots to popular franchises have recently failed to garner anyone’s attention: for instance, Total Recall and Robocop.
Also, the recent entries in the Die Hard franchise has diluted the product so bad that 2013s A Good Day to Die Hard had the smallest domestic total of the franchise: $67 million compared to Live Free or Die Hard‘s $134 million total. But do not worry, the fifth entry still made over $300 million worldwide, which will ultimately result in a sixth film in the storied series.
With that said, two more 80s action properties are on the fast track to being made. First, it appears that after countless reports that it was dead in the water, Rambo V will happen. These reports come off the heel of the announcement that the rights for Rambo were sold to Splendid Film. And in the company’s press statement, it was revealed that Stallone will return and has already written a script, which will feature a Rambo versus Mexican cartel storyline.
With RamboVSylvester Stallone returns in his iconic role. This time he goes up against a Mexican cartel. Stallone, who has also written the screenplay, describes the new Rambo as his version of No Country for Old Men. Like the last film, Rambo V is produced by Avi Lerner (The Expendables series).
While the 80s Rambo sequels were never more than cold-era Reagan propaganda, I was pleasantly shocked when the fourth entry was actually good. Again, I never expected there to be a fourth entry or at least a true sequel with Stallone, but the film adequately gave a compelling story, while also giving a fitting end to the Rambo character. It was so fitting that there is no need to further expand with other stories. Yet, here we are six years later and the famous actor is giving us another picture that the public is not asking for. Am I intrigued? Yes, but with Stallone’s terrible efforts in The Expendable series, I cannot see Rambo V being any more than a sorry CGI riddled excuse for an action flick.
Then again, I revert back to the fact that my low expectations were pleasantly exceeded by the fourth entry. However, Stallone should not compare his ‘Mexican cartel storyline’ to the Coen brothers’ masterpiece, No Country for Old Men; that is like me saying that my cooking is equivalent to a five star restaurant. Rambo V could be entertaining, but at the end of the day, it is still Rambo.
On the other end of my excitement spectrum, it has been announced that good old Shane Black will co-write and direct the reboot to Predator: which made me as happy as a kid on Christmas. While I did not like Iron Man 3, I love his previous directorial effort Kiss Kiss Bang Bang, which he also wrote: and lets not forget that the man brilliantly wrote Lethal Weapon, The Monster Squad and The Long Kiss Goodnight.
The franchise has been tarnished since McTiernan’s film in 1987, so if there is any man who can return the Predator series to glory it is Shane Black. This job will also reteam the writer/director with Fred Dekker, his collaborator on The Monster Squad. However, the question is when will the Predator reboot happen; after Iron man 3, Shane Black decided to fill his directorial plate with plenty of projects, including Death Note, Doc Savage and The Nice Guys. So at the moment, it does not look like Predator will happen anytime soon; but here is to hoping that Black has the time to at least write a decent script, let alone direct the picture.
Needless to say, it seems that the resurgence of the 80s action hero has not died with the recent box office failures; the only thing that fanboys can hope for is that Rambo V matches the glory of Rambo and that the Predator reboot will surpass the four shitty sequels/reboots. One can hope, right?
Fun Fact: Though many Predator fanboys would know this, did you know that Shane Black is in the original Predator movie: he plays one of the commandos, Hawkins. And according to the famous writer/director, the producers were constantly trying to get him to do rewrites while filming.