EXCLUSIVE: Stallone reveals Rocky comeback details ahead of boxing city talk
Rocky is making a big screen comeback, The Expendables want to battle Jack Nicholson and Rambo may return in Last Blood - possibly wielding a Sheffield Bowie knife!
Sylvester Stallone, in an exclusive interview with Graham Walker, revealed all this and more ahead of his only UK appearance to talk to fans at Sheffield City Hall on January 25.
VIDEO: Press the play button to watch the amazing Stallone video montage promoting his Sheffield visit.
It’s a pinch yourself moment, to imagine the Hollywood all time great running up those City Hall steps, like a scene from his iconic Rocky films.
The venue is no stranger to big names. The Beatles, Nat King Cole, Stevie Wonder, Picasso and even Winston Churchill have all appeared there.
But movie royalty doesn’t pack a punch more than Stallone and fans are flying in from as far away as Italy, The Netherlands, Poland and France.
Superfans snapped up all the photo opportunity tickets at and extra £500 each in minutes. And with tickets from just £45, the ‘evening with event’ - promoted by Rocco Buonvino Productions in association with our www.wow247.co.uk - is heading for a sell out.
He’s never visited the city but he’s aware of its great boxing and music heritage. Sheffield also featured in the opening titles of his first post Rocky film, F.I.S.T.
Back in 1978, with its then smoke filled skies above towering chimneys and red brick factories, the city doubled as the gritty, bleak, industrial backdrop for the film about pickaxe wielding union activists in 1930s Cleveland, Ohio.
His deadly Rambo knife also owes much of its design inspiration to the Sheffield Bowie hunting knives - made by the city’s Little Mesters and mass-produced for export to the US by 1850.
Might he use one in Last Blood - his much talked about final Rambo film?
“Yes, wouldn’t that be something! I’d say, ‘hey, it’s from Sheffield’. We will actually do a plug,” laughed the 68 year old, in that deep New York drawl, which is box office gold.
“The new Rambo, if it is one more, would be kind of a different, darker, modern western - where he’s not taking on 200 enemies. The automatic machine gun fire would be kind of reduced to more of an interesting, stalking scenario, kind of like Taken if you know what I mean. Something believable.”
First he’s making a Rocky spin-off film, called Creed, reprising his iconic role as the retired world champ, but now mentoring the son of his first opponent, Apollo Creed.
Michael B Jordan, who will also star as The Human Torch next year in The Fantastic Four, will take the title role and Stallone hopes Creed will become a brand new franchise.
He revealed: “It’s something that I thought at first was insane. My vision of Rocky was complete. I was very satisfied with the last one and certainly Rocky could never get in the ring again.
“Then this idea was presented to me where Creed has a son. When they meet it becomes like a resuscitation for Rocky, who has just sort of given up. Then this new force comes along. I thought wow. This just might work. It’s not Rocky VII. It’s Creed I.”
Of all his signature roles Rocky is his favourite. He wrote the original script in three days, it was nominated for 10 Oscars and won three, including Best Picture in 1976.
He said: “I have to go with Rocky because it really speaks to the common man.
“Rocky is me after coffee in the morning and Rambo is me before coffee. Rambo is like the Frankenstein creature. He was put together by the military and then discarded.”
Somewhere in between, he says, is his latest character Barney Ross - leader of the elite mercenaries The Expendables, featuring an all-star cast of action heroes including Arnold Schwarzenegger, Jason Statham, Jet Li, Dolph Lundgren, Randy Couture, Terry Crews, Steve Austin, Mickey Rourke, Antonio Banderas, Wesley Snipes, Mel Gibson and Harrison Ford.
There are reports that boxing legend Manny Pacquiao may get a cameo role in Expendables IV, after Stallone and co-star Arnold Schwarzenegger watched him win his last fight in China.
Sly teases by saying there’s no truth in it - but anything is possible. He says oldest rival now close friend Arnie could even have a word to persuade pal Clint Eastwood.
“I’m serious. The ultimate would be to get Jack Nicholson as the dubious villain. Is it going to happen? Most likely not? Is it possible? Slightly,” he says.
He explained how The Expendables came about from an idea he had prompted by rock and roll revival shows, where several bands featured on the bill. He brought together action hero stars and created a ‘curiosity’, resulting in big box office.
The ultimate curiosity would be Stallone and Schwarzenegger in the ring. Who would win?
“I would,” he says, firmly, before breaking into a laugh. “And if you interviewed him he would say he would.”
Of his forthcoming visit he says he jumped at the chance when promoters suggested Sheffield - home of the Team GB Olympic boxing squad. He said: “There’s been so many good fighters from Sheffield. There’s also been some really interesting singers. But it’s one of those cities that is a mystery to me.
“I’ve heard about it but I haven’t been there. So I’m looking forward to it.”
The evening will include a 90 minute talk, about his life and career, and the chance to win a prizes which include a meet and greet, plus signed Stallone memorabilia.
Promoter Rocco Buonvino, a personal friend of his, said: “Sly is a lovely man, a great story teller. Tickets are flying out and fans are flying in. We’ve got people coming from all over Europe. If people want the ultimate Christmas present for a film fan - this is it, in Sheffield.”