Stallone laces up for another round as Rocky. MGM wants to make a sixth installment of the Italion Stallion saga, but on a budget

By Gary Susman
Updated December 12, 2002 at 05:00 AM EST
Sylvester Stallone
Credit: Sylvester Stallone: PPS Vienna/ZUMA Press/Newscom
  • Movie

Believe it or not, Sylvester Stallone may put on the gloves one more time as Rocky Balboa. According to The Hollywood Reporter, a deal is nearly in place to shoot ”Rocky VI,” which would be the first movie in the 26-year-old franchise since 1990, and which would find the 56-year-old actor playing a 50-year-old Balboa, now running a youth center, who is pulled back into the ring for one last fight.

Having stiffed in recent years with such action hopefuls as ”Get Carter,” ”Driven,” and the all-but-unreleased ”D-Tox,” it’s no wonder Stallone wants to get back to his most famous and dependable characters. (He’s also spoken in recent months of reviving the ”Rambo” series.) But ”Rocky V” was a long time ago, and it seemed to indicate that the series was out of steam, as its $40 million take made it the only ”Rocky” movie not to clear $100 million at U.S. theaters.

The risk would be minimal for MGM, however, as Stallone and the the studio expect to be able to make the movie on the cheap, for between $10 and $15 million, according to the Reporter. That would put the film in line with such recent low-budget MGM successes as ”Legally Blonde” and ”Barbershop.” Plus, it would give the largely franchise-dependent studio (which releases the James Bond movies) another catalog entry that has some repackaging potential on DVD.

Plus, working for scale would allow former action king Stallone to paint himself as an underdog again. As for whether he can still play Balboa in the ring, he told the London Mirror a few months ago, ”I would love to have one more shot at getting that right, even if people say I am a little old for it, and I know I’d have fun trying.”

Rocky Balboa

  • Movie
  • PG
  • 102 minutes
  • Sylvester Stallone