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SYLVESTER STALLONE's future after "Rambo" and "Rocky" - CinemaDave

Dec. 7th, 2006 08:31 pm SYLVESTER STALLONE's future after "Rambo" and "Rocky"

Craig Zablo: After "Rambo IV" concludes, what will be your next project?

I'm gonna direct "Edgar Allen Poe" [without] being in it. "Yo, Poe!" doesn't work. I'd like to direct some nice young actor in it who can get the soul of Poe. It's a dark story, but the challenge is how to make it enjoyable, so it isn't that depressing. And then there's a book I've been looking at for a while called Homefront, which is pretty good and, you know, there's certain things that will crop up. The main thing is I'd, I'd much rather spend more time directing than actually acting.
posted by ROCKY BALBOA BLOG at 7:09 PM 113 comments

I've heard about Stallone's "Edgar Allen Poe" script for 30 years. Apparently it is a brilliant script that is very dark. Will Stallone pull a Clint Eastwood and age like a fine chianti?

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Date:December 8th, 2006 10:42 am (UTC)

Stallone's Poe Project

I recall Stallone saying years ago on various talk shows that he wanted to play Edgar Allen Poe. The hosts often responded that Stallone was too powerfully built to play the scrawny and dissipated Poe.

Even back then Stallone had already used weight gains and losses and a variety of physical fitness regimens to play different characters. Stallone said he would go on a reducing diet to portray Poe. Facial makeup, lighting, baggy clothes, body language and acting skill would have also been used.

It would have been interesting to see what Stallone might have done if he had played Poe. A lot of people felt he lacked the talent to pull it off.

I think Poe was around 40 years of age when he died. Surviving photos of Poe made shortly before his death show him to be an old and raggedy 40 year old aged a good deal beyond his years. The 60 year old Stallone, who looks younger, could play Poe in his final years, and use a younger actor to depict Poe's youth. If that is not in the cards it will be fun to see what Stallone can accomplish directing another actor as Poe.

North Star
Date:December 8th, 2006 12:01 pm (UTC)

Re: Stallone's Poe Project

Whoever Stallone casts as Poe, would have to be an actor with little baggage, the sensitive teen television actor who is looking for a role with "more depth." John Ritter's son could pull it off.
Date:December 11th, 2006 01:39 am (UTC)

Re: Stallone's Poe Project

I have seen some of Jason Ritter's work on TV. I think he and Stallone would make quite a team for an Edgar Allen Poe film.

Going back again to the topic of the new Rocky Balboa movie caused me to recall some stories about a few real life older fighters and their attempted comebacks and/or exhibition matches. I have not seen the new Rocky film, but I believe the character in his late 50's gets into the ring with a young champion in his prime.

My wild guess is that Rocky does not win the fight. In real life I doubt that a 60-ish former champion would survive the first round, no matter how great he was in his prime and in the best shape possible after six decades on Earth, if he got into the ring with a reasonably competent reigning champion.

But I like to look into several online boxing sites about the history of boxing. One had an account about the older James J. Corbett, who won the heavyweight title from John L. Sullivan in 1892, when Corbett was about 26 years of age.

Many years later when Corbett was 60 years old he filmed a friendly sparring match with the young champion Gene Tunney. Tunney was the man who took the heavyweight title from Jack Dempsey in the 1920's.

Tunney said the 60 year old Corbett was still brilliant, fast, tricky, difficult to hit, with the ability to land stinging punches from impossible angles and even able at his age to hit hard while moving backwards on the retreat.

Back in the mid 1990's George Foreman at age 45 won a heavyweight title from a much younger champion. Big George was behind on points for many rounds but he came up with a KO to grab the title.

Some of the fictional Rocky Balboa is apparently based on the real life heavyweight champion Rocky Marciano. At age 45 or so after many years of retirement Marciano filmed a simulated computer fight with Muhammad Ali in the late 1960's, before Ali won his second heavyweight championship. Ali was about 27 at the time. The film tried to depict what it would have been like if Ali and Marciano had met prime to prime. Marciano lost a great deal of weight and trained very hard for this simulation. He really got himself into superb shape.

Rocky Marciano was rather bald by this time so he was fitted with a wig to make him look as he did in his youthful prime. Ali of course could not resist knocking off the wig.

The first time Ali did this he said it was an accident. He did it again, and again once more. Rocky got mad and landed some bombs to Ali's body. Some witnesses said Ali went to the floor and was helpless. If it had been a real title fight Ali might have lost his championship. After this little dust-up the filming proceeded smoothly. Ali and Marciano became quite friendly and spoke highly of each other. Ali said he could not believe how strong the middle aged Rocky was and that he could only imagine what it would be like to face him in his prime.

When Rocky Marciano was tragically killed in a plane crash not long after the filming was completed Ali violated speed limits and drove through red lights to get to Rocky's funeral on time.

North Star
Date:December 11th, 2006 02:17 am (UTC)

Re: Stallone's Poe Project

North Star, I do not have to see the new "Rocky" movie. You wrote the plot!

All kidding aside, Rocky Marciano is buried in Fort Lauderdale and I have to visit the headstone some day. If it is not on my website already, I will have to post my review on Michael Mann's "Ali," in which I have another Marciano story.

Date:December 12th, 2006 01:06 am (UTC)

Re: Stallone's Poe Project

I will have to see if my alias shows up in the credits, Cinema Dave LOL.

I and many others who drop in here would enjoy it if you have more Marciano stories to post.

North Star
Date:December 12th, 2006 01:43 am (UTC)

Re: Stallone's Poe Project

This was my review of "Ali."

"Ali" the boxer, this film is as over rated as the boxer.

When I was exercising in a gym one Saturday afternoon,
a television set played a biography on former Heavy
weight Champion, Muhammad Ali. It was sweet and
sugary and presented Ali as the greatest living human
being. I said out loud that I did not think he was as
good as Sgt. Joe Louis or the only undefeated
Heavyweight Champion, Rocky Marciano. A regular in
the club smiled at me and returned to his work out. I
found out later that the man who smiled at me was
Rocco Marchegiano, the champ's son and former
Lighthouse Point resident.

I remembered meeting a former Heavyweight Champion and
Lighthouse Point resident, Ingamar Johanssen, after
Ali lost to Leon Spinks in 1978. He felt that if he
could trim a few pounds, he could have beaten both
boxers at the same time. While there was no doubt
that Ali's skills had faded by the late seventies, I
was happy to see that the August issue of "Sports
Illustrated" rated Muhammad Ali as over rated in his

"Ali" the biographical movie explains how Cassius Clay
(Will Smith) won the Heavyweight Championship in Miami
circa 1964. Shortly thereafter, Clay announces his
conversion to the nation of Islam and changes his name
to Muhammad Ali. Under the shadows of Martin Luther
King and Malcolm X, Ali becomes both a political
figure and a carnival barker for his own fights.

When he is drafted by the military, Ali refuses
induction and is stripped of his heavyweight crown.
Thanks to the efforts of Joe Frazier, Howard Cosell
(Jon Voight) and a team of civil rights lawyers, Ali
returns to the ring and reclaims his title in 1974
from Big George Foreman.

It seems that Director Michael Mann wanted to create
"Ali" as an epic along the lines of the Oscar Champion
"Gandhi." Unfortunately Mann's epic suffers from too
much hero worship for their lead character. Ali's
legendary trainer, Angelo Dundee (Ron Silver), is
given short shrift. Ali's marital infidelities is
presented as just one of those things.

What saves this motion pictures is the performances.
Will Smith transforms himself and gives a charismatic,
but low key, performance. Jon Voight is likely to be
Oscar nominated for Best supporting actor. The
question will be if Voight gets the nod for his
uncanny impression of FDR in "Pearl Harbor" or for his
vocal nuances as Howard Cosell in this movie. Voight
somehow manages to capture the heart of these
historical figures through the extensive make up.
Jamie Foxx manages comic and tragic relief as Budini
Brown, Ali's poetry muse.

"Ali" is a film that Muhammad Ali worshipers will
love, but his critics will scorn. People on the fence
will likely find something better to watch on the big
Date:December 12th, 2006 02:57 am (UTC)

Re: Stallone's Poe Project

Thanks for the excellent "Ali" review. I saw it on TV some time ago. Not a bad film but it should have been better.

It's amazing what a small world it is to run into Rocky Marciano's son like that. Back in the 1970's Rocky had a brother who owned a restaurant a few blocks from where I live in suburban Chicago.

The boxing buffs get into some really heated arguments about a time travel prime to prime Ali versus Marciano match. Rocky was never stopped on cuts, even though he had some nasty ones, but I think sharpshooter Ali would try to end it that way, because Ali would realize Rocky was probably impossible to knock out and very dangerous to try winning against on points across a distance of 15 rounds.

North Star
Date:December 12th, 2006 11:57 am (UTC)

Re: Stallone's Poe Project

Ezzard Charles split Marciano's nose in half and the doctors wanted to stop the fight. Marciano and Weill begged for one more round and.....Marciano knocked out the former champion.
Date:December 13th, 2006 12:55 am (UTC)

Re: Stallone's Poe Project

I have seen photos from the split nose fight. It looked horrific but it did not seem to impair Rocky when it happened and into the following final round when he scored the dramatic KO. Some sportswriters think it may have been caused by an accidental elbow.

10 or 15 years later in Ali's era when boxing was perhaps slightly more humane, I wonder if Rocky would have been TKO'd and not allowed that additional round to go for the knockout.

North Star
Date:December 13th, 2006 01:11 am (UTC)

Re: Stallone's Poe Project

Yeah..boxing is more humane now. It seems that the game lost something when it went from 15 to 12 rounds. The eighties were good, but the fight game has not been the same to me since George Foreman won the championship at age 45.