2020 was the 35th anniversary of Sylvester Stallone’s 1985 East vs. West boxing classic Rocky IV and with blockbuster movies on ice last year due to COVID-19, Stallone decided to look to the past and release a director’s cut telling the story as he originally intended it. But we’re now in February 2021 and there’s no sign of it. So, what gives?
Well, it seems as if work is finally almost complete, as the filmmaker posted a quick video on Instagram showing a glimpse of the climactic bout between steroid-powered super-Soviet boxer Ivan Drago and Philly’s finest, Rocky Balboa. Stallone is hard at work on the sound mixing for the movie, explaining how important it is for the blows to feel impactful and how audio technology has evolved over the last three decades.
He also says he’s putting on the “finishing touches,” so hopefully this means we’ll see this new version of Rocky IV sometime in the next few months. But given that the original is already an extremely fun movie, what exactly are they changing?
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We don’t have a full list of new additions and tweaks, but it sounds like the punches might hit harder in this cut. In 2020, Stallone teased us with a revised clip of the opening fight between Apollo Creed and Ivan Drago. This doesn’t end well for Apollo (the scene is a crucial plot element in both Creed movies), so perhaps we’ll get less cutaways to reactions and more of the killing blows.
One other thing we know is that Stallone is ditching Paulie’s robot girlfriend SICO, a decision that has rightly drawn wails of disappointment from fans. Sure, the Rocky franchise is maybe a bit too down to earth to start introducing super intelligent lady robots, but like her or loathe her, she was certainly memorable. Stallone is adamant, though, saying:
“The robot is going to the junkyard forever. No more robot.”
More on the Rocky IV Director’s Cut release as soon as we hear it. Let’s hope it’s not too far away.