Please, movie Gods, don’t let this one suck.
The Wrap is reporting that Sylvester Stallone and Robert De Niro are in negotiations to star in upcoming Warner Bros. boxing project Grudge Match. I became excited about this as soon as I heard the news. Two great actors (if you don’t believe me about Stallone, watch the monologue from the end of First Blood and apologize to me while wiping tears from your eyes) who appeared in the two greatest boxing films of all time – Rocky and Raging Bull – teaming up for a boxing project together? That sounds brilliant! Inspired, even! Why, the potential for insightful drama seems limitless, I mean –
Oh. Grudge Match is a comedy? Not a heartfelt drama with two aging thespians?
Oh. Well, I suppose it could work, with the right creative team, I just – What? Peter Segal, director of such disappointments as Anger Management, is attached to direct? And the script was written by Entourage scribe Doug Ellin? And Mark Steven Johnson, director of the horrifyingly awful Daredevil, is producing?
Allow me to change my tone…
Dear Mr. De Niro and Mr. Stallone – Please do not star in Grudge Match. You both have enough embarrassing comedy abominations on your resume already. Sly, I know bad movies have sort of been your thing at various stages in your career, but people like you again! Honest, they do! The Expendables wasn’t even that good, but look at how people can’t shut up about the sequel! You don’t have to do bad movies any more!
And Robert, just remember that a lot of people still have respect for you. I swear, I’m one of the only people who remembers Rocky and Bullwinckle. Honest. That fiasco isn’t haunting you at the moment, but imagine if Grudge Match is a hit. What would you do then? How would you erase that particular stench? Not every bomb can come and go as fast as Little Fockers. There’s still time!
There really is, in fact, as The Wrap assures us that neither has signed on yet, and since both have fairly heavy platters at the moments, plans could change. Neither actors have responded to requests for comments.
Grudge Match has no release window at the moment. So there’s that.