“Rocky IV,” arguably the most polarizing yet influential of the “Rocky” sequels, will be getting a director’s cut courtesy of Sylvester Stallone as part of the film’s 35th anniversary.
“For the 35th anniversary, ‘Rocky IV’ is getting a new DIRECTORS cut by me,” Stallone said in an Instagram post on Sunday. “So far it looks great. Soulful.. Thank you MGM for this opportunity to entertain.”
Released in 1985, “Rocky IV” has been regarded as one of the most famous Hollywood 80s films inspired by the Cold War. The film sees Rocky relinquish his championship to challenge Ivan Drago, the titanic Soviet boxer who kills Apollo Creed during a match. While Drago, played famously by the imposing Dolph Lundgren, takes steroids and trains with high-tech Soviet equipment, Rocky trains in a cabin outside of Moscow using beat-down farm equipment and exercising in the frigid winter. Ultimately, Rocky’s rugged American individualism prevails, knocking out Drago and winning over the Soviet crowd with the Russian politburo in attendance.
The film became the biggest box office hit in the “Rocky” series and held the record for the highest-grossing sports film ever until “The Blind Side” passed it in 2009. But critics were polarized on the film, with some enjoying the spectacle while others, like Empire’s Ian Nathan, declared it the point where “the ‘Rocky’ series threw in the towel on its credibility.”
Despite this, “Rocky IV” has had an impact on Hollywood that still resonates today. Along with its box office legacy, the events of the film would become the basis for the critically acclaimed “Rocky” spinoff “Creed,” which followed Apollo Creed’s son, Donnie, as he followed in his late father’s footsteps under Rocky’s tutelage.
The film earned Stallone an Oscar nomination, spawned a sequel that saw Lundgren return as Drago and elevated the careers of lead actor Michael B. Jordan and director Ryan Coogler, both of whom would go on to work together on “Black Panther.”
Check out Stallone’s announcement in the post below.