Rocky 4 Director's Cut Clip Shows Off Sylvester Stallone's Revised Take On The Beloved Sequel

"Rocky IV," the movie where Rocky singlehandedly defeats Communism, is returning to theaters in the form of a new director's cut. The new cut, retitled "Rocky IV: Rocky vs. Drago The Ultimate Director's Cut," will play in theaters for one night only next week before hitting digital and on demand the following day, and ahead of the impending release, a behind-the-scenes clip has surfaced. The clip features star and director Sylvester Stallone talking about his approach to assembling the new cut, which features "40 minutes of never-before-seen footage." As Stallone puts it in the clip below, going back and recutting "Rocky IV" allowed him to approach the material with a "new sensitivity and confidence" he didn't have while making the film back in the 1980s. 

Rocky 4 Director's Cut Clip

Released in 1985, "Rocky IV" had Sylvester Stallone's Rocky Balboa heading to the Soviet Union to fight towering Russian boxer Ivan Drago, as played by Dolph Lundgren. This was no mere prizefight for Rocky – it was personalbecause Drago killed Rocky's former opponent turned friend Apollo Creed (Carl Weathers). Now, Stallone is re-releasing a new cut of "Rocky IV" titled "Rocky IV: Rocky vs. Drago The Ultimate Director's Cut." In the behind-the-scenes clip above, Stallone talks about resisting the film for the new cut, starting things off by saying: "I didn't believe in myself as a filmmaker as I do now." 

Perhaps the most interesting thing in this clip is Stallone saying that if he had to do it all over again (as in, make the movie again – not just re-cut it), he would "never" have killed off Apollo Creed. He says it was "foolish" and he felt like he needed it as a dramatic springboard. Instead of killing off Apollo, Stallone says he now wishes he had simply had Drago paralyze Apollo, having the former champ using a wheelchair. Apollo would then take on the role vacated by Rocky's former trainer Mickey, resulting in a whole new dynamic. Of course, Stallone also adds that had that happened, the "Rocky" and "Creed" films that followed may have never happened, or they would've happened differently. I'll let you decide whether or not that's a good thing, reader. 

Rocky IV: Rocky vs. Drago The Ultimate Director's Cut

Here's the official synopsis for "Rocky IV: Rocky vs. Drago The Ultimate Director's Cut" (note: what a bad, clunky title): 

After more than 35 years, director, writer and star Sylvester Stallone masterfully reshapes ROCKY IV, delivering 40 minutes of never-before-seen footage. The fight scenes are more intense, the music is more powerful and the drama is heightened as world heavyweight champion Rocky Balboa (Stallone) must defend his title once again, this time against his most formidable opponent: Ivan Drago (Dolph Lundgren).

For the new cut, MGM teamed with Fathom Events for "nationwide screenings, offering fans a chance to be among the first to see this all-new version of Stallone's classic 1985 film. Additionally, an exclusive Q&A with Stallone will be broadcast live in select movie theaters nationwide, and audiences will be treated to a behind-the-scenes look at the making of the recut film." Those screenings are one night only, November 11, 2021. You can buy tickets here. And if you can't make it out to the theater, you're in luck: the movie will drop onto on demand and digital the following day, November 12, 2021.