Sylvester Stallone recently pointed out that the ending of Rambo 5 revealed a clue about the titular character’s fate, and it leaves the door open for a sixth installment.
The Rambo franchise has been a major piece of Stallone’s career for 40 years. The story, which follows a Vietnam vet who continues to fight wars at home, began in 1983 with First Blood and seemingly closed in 2019 with Rambo: Last Blood—but did it?
The movie saw John Rambo working to defeat the head of a cartel by luring his henchmen to a secluded farm and killing them one by one until his nemesis is forced to battle. Rambo wins in the end, but it appears he sacrificed his life to do so. Once the fight is over, he sits on his rocking chair, mortally wounded. Just when fans think he’s finished, it cuts to the empty chair, still rocking. And the final scene shows him riding away on his horse.
‘Rambo’ Star Hates ‘Sad Endings’
Most fans believe Rambo is riding way to die, but the scene is too ambiguous to know for sure. During the Sly documentary on Netflix, Stallone admitted that was all by design, but it was a last-minute change.
Originally, Last Blood showed the chair stop moving, which signified Rambo had died. Stallone, however, doesn’t think heroes should die. And he “started regretting the idea that this is the way this warrior goes out.” So he gave him an open-ended interpretation that could possibly lead to another film.
The change-up came after production had shut down. So, Sylvester Stallone had his crew work movie magic and use CGI to keep the rocking chair moving. That way, fans knew he was still alive when the credits hit, but they couldn’t be sure his story truly continued.
According to Yahoo Entertainment, Stallone’s Rocky was also supposed to die, but no one wanted to see him get a “depressing” ending. Stallone agreed, wrote an alternate script, and the producers fronted the money to film a new ending scene.
The Rocky and Rambo rewrites both circle back to Stallone’s belief that heroes never die and evil shouldn’t triumph over good. He also never wants fans to walk away feeling blue.
“I just hate sad endings,” he said during the documentary. “Shoot me.”
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