NEW YORK, NEW YORK - OCTOBER 06: Sylvester Stallone and Jennifer Flavin leave The Polo Bar on October 06, 2022 in New York City. (Photo by James Devaney/GC Images)
Movies - TV
Rocky V Almost Had A Different, More Tragic Ending
In "Rocky V," Rocky Balboa retires from boxing and begins training an up-and-coming fighter, Tommy Gunn, and although the young boxer has some success, the press is more interested in Rocky, which drives Gunn away. Then, in the ultimate macho display, Gunn and Rocky end up settling their differences in a street fight, which Rocky wins — however, this wasn't Stallone's original idea.
The original script ended with a severely injured Rocky dying in Adrian's lap on the way to the hospital. Reportedly, Stallone cried and battled nausea while writing the scene, but was fully committed to ending the franchise and the Rocky Balboa character, as was the director, John G. Avildsen, who said in an interview that the way it wrapped everything up was “a beautiful ending!”
Avildsen explained why the ending was altered, stating, "A couple of weeks into the shooting I got a call from the head of the studio and they said, 'Oh by the way Rocky's not going to die. Batman doesn't die, Superman, James Bond, these people don't die.” It would seem Rocky’s forced fairytale ending, caused "Rocky V" to flop, and one of the reasons why it is widely regarded as one of the worst films in the franchise.