Sylvester Stallone at the premiere of "Tulsa King" held at Regal Union Square on November 9, 2022 in New York City. (Photo by Kristina Bumphrey/Variety via Getty Images)
Movies - TV
Sylvester Stallone Once Turned Down A $34 Million Payday
Before MCU global action stars and the franchise saving Dwayne Johnson, there was Sylvester Stallone and his “Rocky” and “Rambo” franchises. Not all “Rocky” and “Rambo” movies have aged well, but during the height of Stallone’s powers in the late ‘80s, he was offered a $34 million payday by Carolco Pictures to make a “Rambo IV,” which he actually turned down.
Stallone told the Hollywood Reporter, "[W]e were doing Rambo III. We thought it was going to be the biggest hit — this was before it came out. And I was paid a fortune for it. Then they go, 'We want Rambo IV. Here it is: Pay or play, 34.' I go, 'Let's not jump the gun here.'"
Had they jumped the gun, Carolco might've dissolved long before the catastrophic one-two flops of Paul Verhoeven's "Showgirls" and Renny Harlin's "Cutthroat Island" finished the company off for good in 1995. Stallone would eventually make a “Rambo IV” in 2008, but given the diminished importance of movie stars in the age of streaming, he likely would never see
an offer like that again.