While it will almost certainly never happen, Quentin Tarantino has expressed some interest in a First Blood remake. Yes, Tarantino has a pitch for the Rambo franchise and it would involve making a much more faithful adaptation to the original novel that birthed the Sylvester Stallone franchise. Tarantino even has actors in mind, with Adam Driver (Star Wars: The Force Awakens, Marriage Story) taking over as John Rambo and Kurt Russell (The Thing, The Hateful Eight) on board as Sheriff Teasle.
Quentin Tarantino is currently promoting the release of his novelization of Once Upon a Time In Hollywood. During a recent interview, he was discussing some projects that could have been, or, though the odds are slim, still could be. This part of the conversation sprang up when discussing the failure of Grindhouse and what might have happened to his career as a result. He considered other studio projects, such as a Westworld remake or an adaptation of DC’s Sgt. Rock. But in the here and now, he’d consider First Blood. Here’s what he had to say about it.
“If I just wanted to make a good movie, that I knew would be good, I would take David Morrell’s novel for First Blood and do the novel. Not the movie that was made out of First Blood. I would do the novel. And Kurt Russell would play the sheriff, and [Adam Driver] would play Rambo. Every time I read it, the dialogue is so fantastic in the David Morrell novel that you’re reading it out loud. It would be so good. But now I want to do more than that. But if it was just about to make a good movie, that’s out there.”
David Morrell’s First Blood was originally published in 1972. While the 1982 movie of the same name is held in high regard, it is a big departure from what was on the page. Quentin Tarantino is proposing going back to where it all started and faithfully bringing Morrell’s work to life.
But the odds of this happening seem slim to none. Quentin Tarantino has continued to insist that he is going to retire from movies after one more go. His tenth movie will be his last. It’s not clear what that movie will be yet, but it’s hard to imagine he would go out on something like this. So, unless something dramatic changes, this merely exists in the land of “What if?”
First Blood kicked off a franchise that has proved to be tremendously successful. Across five movies, the Rambo series has earned more than $818 million at the box office. Most recently. Stallone returned for 2019’s Last Blood, which was not held in high regard critically. There has been some talk of a Rambo but it hasn’t materialized. Now, if the man behind Pulp Fiction and Inglourious Basterds came knocking and wanted to reboot it? That might get Hollywood’s attention. You can check out the full interview with Quentin Tarantino on The Big Picture podcast.