Most people know Sylvester Stallone from his legendary Rambo and Rocky roles, but it's easy to forget that between 1980 and 1995 he starred in some of the most beloved (and completely bananas) action and sci-fi movies of that era. Nighthawks, Cobra, Lock Up, Cliffhanger, Demolition Man, Judge Dredd, Assassins, and Daylight -- sure, nobody's saying these films belong anywhere near the AFI's top 100, but this stretch of work was Stallone at the top of his game. I strongly recommend Nighthawks (co-starring Billy Dee Williams), it's seriously one of the great unsung action films of the early 80s.
Of course, we all know about Kurt Russell's epic run of action and sci-fi during this same period (starting with Escape from New York and ending with Stargate). It's arguable who's the better actor, but you have to give Stallone the edge for cultural impact during the 80s and early 90s.
While it's fair to say that fans went ape over the casting of Kurt Russell in James Gunn's Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2, I contend that the inclusion of Stallone will be the real game-changer, in terms of tone and energy. We know that Stallone can bring the physicality -- even at 70-years-old -- but what does an old-school filmmaker like Stallone actually think of the whole superhero craze?
LRM's own Nancy Tapia attended a Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 junket, where in the process of Stallone discussing how he generally approaches each role, he mad some comments regarding that very subject:
"Well, you know early on in my career I think I ultimately became fascinated with mythology, Joseph Campbell, and The Hero With a Thousand Faces, and so forth. So when I started doing Rambo, there was an evolution that takes place, and each generation has to find itself and find its own heroes and find its own mythology, and this is this generation's, and maybe even the next generation's mythology."
Stallone pivoted a bit to describe his knowledge of the MCU (or the lack thereof):
"When Kevin invited me on board, I said this is interesting because I haven't been following it either, see what I mean. I'm kind of earthbound... This is something that takes place in a whole other sphere where James and the Marvel people have created their own world, their own reality. [I thought I'd] drop in here and see what's up, and where the future is going, you know. And it was great. And it got me out of my house [and away] from my three daughters... that's why I gave my salary back."
It may or may not be clear from these comments, but Stallone was genuinely excited and upbeat about his opportunities in the MCU. Press junkets are often dry and scripted affairs, but Stallone was constantly joking and having fun; he was trading barbs with Kevin Feige and the media too. Stallone seems fully engaged, which means fans should get psyched for a little vintage Sly in their Guardians sequel!
What's your level of excitement for Stallone joining the MCU? Let us know in the comments down below!
Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 hits theaters on May 17, 2017.