Sylvester Stallone explains why ‘Rocky IV’ Director’s Cut dropped the iconic opening

Rocky IV

Sylvester Stallone’s Rocky IV should come with a medical warning for those with a lactose intolerance, such are the massive levels of cheese seeping out of nearly every frame, with the fourth installment in the franchise held up as the most purely entertaining of the lot.

However, the Director’s Cut appears to have refitted the battle between the Italian Stallion and Ivan Drago as a slightly more serious affair, with a couple of notable alterations in particular hammering that point home. Paulie’s robot butler SICO is nowhere to be found, and in a more egregious example, the iconic exploding boxing gloves that open the movie are also gone.

Despite being objectively awesome and totally in keeping with the tone of the piece, Stallone explained in behind the scenes documentary The Making of Rocky vs. Drago why he decided to get rid of the winning display of pyrotechnic pugilism.

“I thought this was so interesting at the time. Wow, look how cool it is. Now I look at it the way you would look at a 1952 science fiction Mars movie, where you see the little flying saucers being held by dental floss. That’s what I felt like when I saw the gloves. I go alright, we don’t need this gimmick anymore. This thing is pretty good without this.”

Sure, it might not hold up given that we’ve had 36 years of technological advancements in the interim, but fans will definitely be disappointed by the omission. Rocky IV is hardly the most straight-faced and serious entry in the long-running series, but with 40 minutes of new footage, the Director’s Cut paints a very different picture of the Cold War battle for the ages.