Although the film didn't have as many different rejected scripts written for it over the years like previous sequel did, it still had quite a lot of them. Amongst the rejected versions of the scripts which were written since the fourth film was released, there were some more versions in which Rambo fights cartel and sex traffickers in Mexico and is saving the kidnapped young girl from them. There was also an action horror version titled Rambo 5: Savage Hunt which was based on novel Hunter by James Byron Huggins and which had Rambo leading the special forces team through the woods in Arctic Circle where they are hunting some mutated bloodthirsty creature. And one version titled Rambo 5: Last Stand, written by Sean Hood and in which Rambo had to fight against army of meth dealers who are terrorizing some small town, and mercenary who is working with them and who would have been more like younger and sadistic version of Rambo and most dangerous enemy he ever faced.
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On December 6, 2018, Sylvester Stallone stated that this would be the last "Rambo" film, saying that his character would "finally find what he assumes to be peace." However, at Cannes 2019, Stallone stated that he would continue to play the character of John Rambo, should "Rambo: Last Blood" prove to be successful.
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Sylvester Stallone stated on his personal Instagram account, "Great day! We got our HARD R rating today! What's coming is going to be unlike anything you have ever seen..."
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Some versions of the film included an alternative opening scene where Rambo rescues two people from a raging storm.
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After initial filming was done and the first cut of the movie was put together, it was test screened in the spring of 2019, and following additional photography and re-shoots, different cuts were edited and test screened throughout the next few months, and the movie was still being edited just weeks before theatrical release and before the final cut was done. However, at the last minute, the movie was cut down even further to be shorter and faster paced, which is why the final theatrical cut is barely 90 minutes long and why all the trailers for the film show some deleted scenes and dialogue.
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The plot to this movie was intended for Rambo (2008) but changed. It was also partially used for Homefront (2013) with Jason Statham.
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At 89 minutes, this is the shortest film in the 'Rambo' series (especially considering the total screen time of the production logos and end credits is almost 10% of that 89 minutes).
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The first Rambo movie where Sylvester Stallone doesn't have long hair.
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While he was generally positive of the previous film Rambo (2008), author David Morrell, the creator of Rambo, publicly called this film "a mess" and a "clumsy exploitation film", and said he was embarrassed to have his name associated with it. Morrell added that his story ideas for the script were rejected and claimed "Rambo could be called John Smith, and the film wouldn't change." He also criticized the fact that the film didn't reference Rambo's Vietnam experiences more clearly: "It assumes the audience is familiar with Rambo's background, whereas anyone under 40 will wonder what on Earth is going on with those tunnels."
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A couple of times in the film Rambo listens to "Five To One" by The Doors. In original script there were more scenes which showed his taste in music, like him listening "Let It Bleed" and "Gimme Shelter" by Rolling Stones, and "War Pigs" by Black Sabbath.
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Original script by Matt Cirulnick had much bigger action sequences, specially the ending which had Rambo fighting against lot more mercenaries who attack his ranch, and the entire scene was almost like a war battle. But Sylvester Stallone didn't liked how over the top the action and other moments in the script were so he scaled everything down when he did his re-write and made it more realistic and focused on story and characters.
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The first entry in the series where Richard Crenna's character Colonel Samuel Trautmam is not featured or referenced. In the first three films he appeared, but by the fourth film Rambo (2008) the actor had passed away and Sylvester Stallone ultimately decided not to recast him, though archive footage was used in a dream sequence.
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This is the first film where Rambo doesn't wear the iconic bandanna.
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Re-shoots and additional photography took place at the end of May/early June 2019.
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The story of Rambo: Last Blood was originally written by Sylvester Stallone for fourth film around mid 2000's, and screenwriter Dan Gordon wrote a version of the script based on it titled Rambo 4: Borderline. Gordon, an actual war veteran, based the script on some of his own experiences. In this unmade version of the fourth film, Rambo has been living in middle of nowhere in Arizona ever since the events of Rambo 3, and when granddaughter of an old Mexican woman he knows is kidnapped by sex traffickers, he goes to Mexico where he fights against various enemies while trying to find the girl, and along the way he gets help from an undercover Mexican-American female FBI agent. The main villain in this version would have been Will Teasle, who would still want revenge after what Rambo did to him in first film First Blood (1982). Although the fourth movie at one point went into pre-production with this story, it was decided to go with other one set in Burma. But ever since the release of Rambo (2008) and during all the different ideas and screenplays which were written for final fifth film, there were several attempts by others to write a new version of the unused story by Stallone and Gordon, and in 2018 Matt Cirulnick wrote his Rambo: Last Blood script based on it, and after Stallone did a re-write because he didn't like some of it and how over the top the action in the script was, it was picked up for production. Both Stallone and Gordon ended up having a story by credit on the film.
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The studio Lionsgate viewed the first cut of the movie on April 5, 2019.
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The song used in the trailer is Old Town Road - Remix by Lil Nas X and Billy Ray Cyrus.
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Sylvester Stallone said in interviews that reason why original opening, in which Rambo saves a young girl during storm but fails to save couple more people and then comes back home and talks with Maria about what happened before going off to sleep in tunnels while listening "Five To One" by The Doors, was cut is because younger members of test screening audience didn't really get entire scene, and because it was felt that movie should open with later scene where Rambo is working on his ranch in order to get to the main story quicker. The original opening and some other additional scenes were in the film until about three weeks before it was released in theaters since version without these scenes tested better, but these were kept in lot of international theatrical versions. Other deleted scenes from first cut of the film however were not released.
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The first names of the two villainous brothers are Victor and Hugo which joined together make up the name of the author Victor Hugo.
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Some parts were cut out of the final action scene at Rambo's ranch, but behind the scenes production video diary and trailers for the film show some of these deleted parts, like Rambo shooting down at couple mercenaries and hitting one in chest few times, and one of other mercenaries crawling through one of the tunnels and when he gets out Rambo cuts his head off with his machete (that's why there is a shot of Rambo swinging the machete down at someone or something in the trailers but not in the film).
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The movie "The return of Billy Jack " which was never completed , had a similar plot. Where the hero goes up against sex traffickers. Tom Laughlin was injured during filming. And when he got better to complete the movie. Most of the money was gone. So they had to scrap the project. Rambo in this movie takes on sex traffickers.
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In the original script, Victor and Hugo's deaths were different; Rambo cuts Victor's heart out, and after fighting with Hugo in the ending he rips his spine and head off his body.
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After the montage of all the Rambo movies at the end, there is a scene where the present day, wounded Rambo is riding away on horseback.
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Most of the booby traps set by Rambo in the tunnels were the same type of traps used by the North Viet Cong on American soldiers. Their purpose was to maim, but Rambo used them to disable his enemies, so he can easily kill them.
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Sylvester Stallone stated at Cannes 2019 that he would consider doing a sixth film if Last Blood succeeds. This seems to be hinted at, if not confirmed, during the credits where the wounded Rambo can be seen riding off on a horse, despite the last scene of the film itself appearing to imply that he intends to sit on his porch until he dies.
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This movie parallels the sequence of events in First Blood (1982). Rambo imposes his will of moral justice directly to a dominant group at substantial odds, loses, and later wins when using covert approaches and taking down members of his opposition individually.
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First in the series Rambo does not fire weaponry of 7.62 mm caliber+ bullets.
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The wounded Rambo riding away on his horse into the sunset is a nod to the ending of Shane (1953) which the wounded title protagonist Alan Ladd rides away into the sunset.
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In the Novel Rambo's Birthdate was July 6th 1947, Which is a year after Sylvester Stallone's Real Birthdate July 6th, 1946. In the film Victor shows Rambo's License to Gabrielle and it is shown that Rambo's Birthdate is December 4th, 1950.
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The film is considered to be the Logan (2017) of the Rambo films, and the film bears similarities with Logan. Both films are about the aging main protagonists forced to confront their violent pasts. In the film, Rambo is seen burying someone close to him. Rambo lives in isolation in the American Southwest, only for violence to return. Rambo reflects on his legacy as a career soldier. The villains interrupt Rambo's life. Rambo ventures into a conflict which he is outnumbered and outgunned.
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