Abandoned Rambo Vs. Monster Movie Getting Made As Non-'Rambo' Movie, Sylvester Stallone Still Starring

In 2009, a year after the uber-violent fourth Rambo movie hit theaters, Sylvester Stallone announced he was going to star in and direct Rambo V: The Savage Hunt, a film set to take his Vietnam veteran action hero into a whole new genre: science fiction. Time passed, and the sci-fi version of the movie, in which Rambo would have faced off against genetically engineered creatures, never happened. However, a different take on Rambo 5 is actually filming right now, with what appears to be more of a Western bent with Rambo battling a Mexican cartel. (Stallone is wearing a cowboy hat in the first-look photos.)

But Stallone liked that Rambo vs monsters idea so much that almost 10 years later, he's making that one too – except he won't be playing John Rambo in it.

"It's a feral monster," Stallone said in 2009 when asked about Rambo's planned villain. "It's a...thing. It's this amalgamation of fury and intelligence and pure, unadulterated rage. It's before men became... hu-men. This is when they were still inhuman. And so, what [Rambo] confronts is something that is everyone's nightmare. He's going against a feral beast that has absolute cunning and intelligence and a will to survive that is only matched by Rambo's."

It turns out the idea he was kicking around was based on a sci-fi action book called Hunter by James Byron Huggins (Leviathan), and Deadline says Stallone will star in the film adaptation, which is currently looking for a writer. Here's the plot synopsis of the book from Amazon:

Hunter is the ultimate tracker, the world's best. If you're lost, Hunter can find you – whether you want him to or not. Still, Hunter is particular about the searches he takes on. So when the military men seeking his help are very secretive about the mission they're recruiting him for, Hunter's instincts tell him to refuse. But there is a beast loose somewhere north of the Arctic Circle and it's already charged through a secret research facility, wiping out the elite military squad that had been guarding it. And this raging superhuman monster is headed south for civilization, ready to wreak bloody devastation.

It's a job that Hunter can't turn down, but what he discovers here in the wilderness is that terror has a form, that a renegade agency has let a half-human abomination escape into the wild. This almost invulnerable creature was created through a series of outlawed genetic experiments that have left it with a hunger for human blood. And may have made it immortal.

I can't help but be disappointed that Stallone couldn't find a way to get this made as Rambo V, because the notion of that franchise suddenly taking a hard turn into sci-fi territory could have provided it with fresh energy and excitement after so many years off-screen. It's so much less interesting without the Rambo component, but it's obviously a story Stallone is fascinated with, so maybe the passion that led him to stick with this for 10 years will come through in the final product.