With the entertainment industry still not up to full speed due to COVID-19, many filmmakers are spending the time revisiting their old works. Zack Snyder is busy with his version of Justice League, Francis Ford Coppola is having another crack at The Godfather Part III and Sylvester Stallone is reworking Rocky IV for its 35th anniversary. Thing is, unlike those other two movies, Rocky IV was already awesome, so what’s Stallone changing?
Right now, we don’t have many specifics. What we know for certain, though, is that he’s going to cut Paulie’s robot girlfriend, a decision that has rightly drawn wails of disappointment from fans. Sure, the Rocky franchise is maybe a bit too down to earth to start introducing robots, but it was one of the most memorable scenes in the movie. Stallone cannot be swayed, though, commenting that:
“The robot is going to the junkyard forever. No more robot.”
If the robot’s gone, then presumably he wants to make the tone a little more serious. That may be evidenced by some new footage he’s posted from the cutting room showing a slightly recut fight between Apollo Creed and Ivan Drago.
This match kicks off the movie’s plot and sees Rocky’s longtime rival and friend killed in the ring by the hulking Drago. It was pretty brutal in the original version, so cranking up the violence may be a hint that Stallone isn’t pulling any punches in his new edit.
Rocky IV had long-term impacts on the franchise, with Apollo’s death setting in motion the events of Creed and Creed II bringing back Ivan Drago as the trainer of his young son. Right now, we don’t have any precise details on when or how this will be released, but Stallone’s post says it’s “almost done,” so fingers crossed it’s soon.
And though I’m sad about the loss of the robot, at least the theatrical cut on my DVD shelf isn’t going anywhere.