Q&A Friday #55: Why Bring In Old Action Stars?
Question: Rocky Balboa, aka Rocky VI, opens this week, starring Sylvester Stallone at the age of 60 reprising his role as a challenger for the heavyweight championship of the world. Meanwhile, the fourth installment of the Die Hard series is expected to be released in the summer of 2007 with a 51-year-old Bruce Willis as its lead, and Indiana Jones 4 is supposed to be coming in 2008, with its star Harrison Ford now at 64.
Are you fond of this idea; bringing older actors back to repeat roles that made them famous when they were young? Aren’t there younger actors who could fill the role of an action hero more convincingly, or is the fact that Hollywood seems bent on resurrecting action heroes from the 80s a sign that the new generation of Hollywood studs are really a bunch of wimps?
Answer: Heck, why not make Indiana Jones and the Walker of Doom if people will still pay money to see it? Same goes for another Rocky movie. After George Foreman, why couldn’t you have a doddering, old Rocky fighting and winning in the ring. Heck, I’m even sort of looking forward to Rambo IV, although judging by what I’m seeing at Wikipedia the movie has gone through some weird twists. Here’s one idea that was apparently discarded (if you believe Wikipedia):
“Yet another terrorist plot was considered. Referred to as Rambo IV: Holy War, this version has Rambo as an environmentalist working in New York for the United Nations. The UN Assembly is hijacked by terrorists, one of which is Tomask (the boy from Rambo III). It is also revealed in this version that Rambo has become a Sufi Muslim.”
Yes, a Muslim environmentalist Rambo who works for the United Nations. Why didn’t they just go all the way and have him castrate himself and then ask the Vietnamese government for a job as a clerk?
Come on, how much would it rock to have Rambo sent on a mission to Pakistan or Afghanistan to find a group of Al-Qaeda terrorists that are holding some US soldiers captive? Then, maybe after Rambo breaks all the rules and saves their lives by killing dozens and dozens of terrorists in every way conceivable, some smug diplomat/senator yells at him and accuses him of being a war criminal before Rambo tells him off. Now that would make a hundred million dollars in its first week-end easy, but Hollywood is too politically correct to make that movie.