While a lot of filmmakers have been going back and reevaluating their own work with new Director's Cuts, the more shocking announcement awhile back was Sylvester Stallone announcing he was working on a new cut of his 1985 film Rocky IV. The director's cut edition was set for release on November 27 of last year to celebrate the film's 35th anniversary, but missed that as Stallone was still working on the film. The director's cut will feature new footage of the Apollo vs. Drago match and notably Stallone confirmed he was omitting completely footage of Paulie's robot who was often a target of criticism for the film back when it originally came out. "The robot is going to the junkyard forever, no more robot," Stallone commented last year. Today, Stallone has revealed that the film's premiere will be taking place in Philadelphia (Rocky Balboa’s home city) along with a new poster that confirms the cut will be titled Rocky vs. Drago – The Ultimate Director’s Cut. Check the poster out below:
Despite it's often derided status in the Rocky franchise, the original film is still the most successful of the entire franchise (including the Creed films), making $300 million on a $28 million budget and, at one point, was the highest-grossing sports film of all time, until 2009's The Blind Side beat it by a narrow margin with $309 million (though this doesn't account for inflation). In addition, it is one of few sport movies (including among all the Rocky installments) that applied genuine sound effects from actual punches, bona fide training methods created by boxing consultants, and a bevy of other new special effects. In fact, the film is recognized as being ahead of its time in its demonstration of groundbreaking high-tech sporting equipment, some of which was experimental and 20 years from public use. So much so that, in 2012, Olympians Michael Phelps and Ryan Lochte noted that the training sequences in Rocky IV inspired them to use a cabin similar to what the resourceful Balboa utilized in the film.
So, whatever the intention for making this Director's Cut (though the removal of the robot seems to imply Stallone hopes to re-tone the film as a more serious boxing drama instead of a relic of 1980's popcorn cinema), Rocky IV remains a treasure to many people for many different reasons. Hopefully, the Director's Cut only adds to this though no official release date for audiences has been announced yet. Stay tuned!