Sylvester Stallone is hanging up his headband (and his knife, and his machine gun, and his grenade belt, and his rocket launcher), announcing that he's to retire his war-weary John Rambo character.
Speaking with Variety, Stallone admitted that his body was no longer up to the demands that the iconic action movie hero required.
"The heart’s willing, but the body says, ‘Stay home!'", Stallone said. "It’s like fighters that go back for one last round and get clobbered. Leave it to someone else."
The news comes as a slight shock, as Stallone had been pencilled in to star in one final Rambo film, Last Blood: Rambo. However, the 69-year old has now said that that's no longer going to happen.
"There’s nothing left. When they asked me to do another ‘Rambo,’ I said, ‘If I can’t do better than I did last time, and I can’t, then why?'", he added.
Though they became increasingly gratuitous as the four-film series went on, (247 people get killed in 2008's Rambo alone), the first film, 1982's First Blood, is a genuinely exciting thriller. Based on David Morrell's 1972 book of the same name, it shows a marginalised Vietnam vet pushed to his limits by a society that has no plans to help him re-integrate.
Stallone may be done with Rambo, but that's not to say you can't still get a Sly fix in cinemas soon. The surprisingly well-received Creed will see Stallone once again become boxer Rocky Balboa, mentoring Apollo Creed's son, while there's also an Expendables TV series planned with Stallone set to feature. The Rambo name will live on in a FOX TV series too, though it's set to focus on OG Rambo's son, and Stallone won't be involved. [Variety]