The Rambo Franchise Faces Uncertain Future After Tarantino’s Final Film: The Movie Critic, which is Quentin Tarantino’s tenth and final film, confirms that the director’s ambitions for a Rambo film are gone, although the idea can still exist in another form. Rambo: Last Blood, released in 2019, marked the end of the Rambo franchise, but there is still talk in Hollywood about making a new film or television series centered around the protagonist of David Morrell’s book First Blood. Quentin Tarantino, the filmmaker of Pulp Fiction, had indicated an interest in continuing the franchise in addition to Sylvester Stallone.

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It has long been known that famed director Quentin Tarantino will stop directing after his tenth major motion picture. In March 2023, Tarantino formally revealed The Movie Critic, a film that may or may not be semi-biographical and set in the 1970s. Although not much is known about the film, Tarantino has stated that no specific real-life person would be the inspiration for it. The Movie Critic will, therefore, probably be a completely original tale more comparable to Reservoir Dogs than Once Upon A Time… In Hollywood.

Tarantino thinks Stallone’s First Blood Interpretation Misunderstood Rambo. (He could be right!)

It’s true that Quentin Tarantino believes the original Sylvester Stallone First Blood misread the book. When he suggested a possible remake of First Blood in 2021, Tarantino unwittingly created a lot of buzz. He sought to return to the grim tone of David Morrell’s book, in which the sheriff of a small settlement pushes John Rambo too far and he turns into a murdering machine. Adam Driver was chosen by Tarantino to play Rambo, while Kurt Russell might take on the role of the Sheriff. Tarantino remarked that he intended to produce a straight adaptation that didn’t smooth over the roughness of First Blood.

High On Films in collaboration with Avanté

Given that Tarantino’s tenth film will also be his final one and that he has promised it will have an “original” idea, his vision for First Blood will never be realized. Although mostly true to the book, the original 1982 First Blood film toned down the violence, with Rambo only murdering one character in self-defense. This was Stallone’s idea since, in his opinion (as expressed through McCleans), Rambo’s slaying and demise, in conclusion, “was not the proper message.” There had been about 200,000 suicides by Vietnam War veterans. The Rambo movie series was thus established.

Why Quentin Tarantino Displays Distaste Towards The First Blood Movie?

Rambo Franchise & Quentin Tarantino

In his nonfiction book ‘Cinema Speculation from 2022’, Quentin Tarantino rails against the 1980s Hollywood safety. He believes that, in contrast to the more problematic heroes of 1970s films, there was a movement to simplify protagonists in order to increase their likeability. Complex personalities aren’t always sympathetic, to quote QT. Not all interesting individuals are likable. Additionally, he believes that films from that era based on novels, such as Less Than Zero or First Blood, “drained” the life that was in the books and transformed them into “morality plays.” The theme of the book is the fact that when Rambo is approached by the police, he turns back to his old ways.

According to Tarantino, the movie version undermines that message by having Rambo injure rather than kill his pursuers.

 “Does that make the point of the book – that once the government turns a man into a killing machine for purposes of warfare, keeping that machine turned off back home during peacetime isn’t so easy – irrelevant?”

–  Filmmaker Quentin Tarantino asks.

First Blood shares many of the problems Tarantino had with 1980s pop culture and the “juvenilization of cinema.” While the finale isn’t quite “happy,” it is more optimistic than the book. It definitely softens Rambo and the plot.

Tarantino Is Spot-on About First Blood

Stallone’s First Blood is a fantastic 1980s action film that has one of the actor’s best performances and helped establish Rambo as a cultural figure. However, Tarantino’s criticisms of the adaptation are still valid. It entirely missed Morrell’s story’s purpose. Even more so, Stallone remembered QT telling him—via Maccleans—that “You’re a coward, you should have killed him!” Naturally, this is what made the idea of a direct Tarantino adaptation of First Blood so enticing, as it would let the book’s message and darker core come to life. Perhaps there will be a remake at some point, but QT won’t be the director.

Quentin Tarantino’s Film The Movie Critic Replaces His Rambo Idea

Previously, Quentin Tarantino stated that he would adapt the novel for a Rambo First Blood remake. In his adaptation, Adam Driver would play Rambo, with Kurt Russell playing the sheriff, as per MovieWebb. One final time, The Movie Critic will showcase Quentin Tarantino’s demonstrated prowess as a writer and director of unique material. Sadly, it will also probably prevent the adaptation of a well-known work like First Blood in his particular style.

High On Films in collaboration with Avanté

What If A Rambo Reboot Happened Without Quentin Tarantino?

While Quentin Tarantino is unlikely to make good on his plan for a Rambo movie, his absence frees up the IP for other directors to give it a new spin or perhaps bring Tarantino’s notion back to life. To make the First Blood remake true to the book, a new filmmaker might pay greater attention to David Morrell’s original dialogue and concepts. They might also take a bigger risk than Sylvester Stallone by having Rambo get killed off at the end of the film. As was already mentioned, Kurt Russell and Adam Driver might also be interested in the role, and whoever is in charge of directing the movie might be influenced by Quentin Tarantino’s visual aesthetic.

There are still numerous possibilities for a return for the Rambo franchise. For instance, Sylvester Stallone described his concept for a Rambo prequel focused on the character’s adolescent years to Screen Rant, saying, “He was the captain of the squad; he was the most popular kid in school; fantastic athlete. He was Jim Thorpe-like before the war, and that is what altered him. If you had previously seen him, he seemed like the ideal person. In fact, a Rambo prequel would be very different from the first five films, and it would help set the character apart from Sylvester Stallone’s retired incarnation. Therefore, even though Quentin Tarantino’s Rambo reboot might never happen, there may be more opportunities than ever for a fresh adaptation.

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