By Darren Franich
Updated August 19, 2011 at 06:17 PM EDT
Karen Ballard

In the last half-decade, Sylvester Stallone has ridden a triple wave of nostalgia, camp, and the rising counter-revolution against Bourne-esque action films in favor of ’80s-esque steroidal beefcake-ism. (See also: Fast Five.) His action-god peers all reinvented themselves — Arnold Schwarzenegger went kid-friendly and then got political, Bruce Willis diversified into drama — but Stallone staged a comeback by doing a Rocky movie, a Rambo movie, and The Expendables, a film that’s basically a sequel to and remake of every other film Stallone ever made. Now, Empire has confirmed that screenwriter Sean Hood (Conan the Barbarian) has drafted a script for a fifth Rambo film called Rambo: Last Stand.

Hood tells Empire that Stallone wanted him to create a genuine “last chapter of the Rambo saga.” He also described the story as “more in line with the small-town thriller of First Blood.” That’s an intriguing proposition. The first Rambo film was always the odd man out in the series, a relatively straightforward psychological thriller. Starting with Rambo: First Blood, Part II, the series moved into its delirious-excess phase. (At one point in 2008’s Rambo, Stallone fires a big gun at a bad guy and explodes him.) Hood notes that Stallone is currently busy with the films Bullet in the Head and The Expendables 2, but expresses his own hope that Stallone will “eventually be inspired to do one more Rambo film, with the tone of Clint Eastwood’s Unforgiven.”

Stallone’s representatives wouldn’t confirm Hood’s discussion about the fifth Rambo, but it certainly seems logical that Stallone would be looking toward a conclusion to his iconic series. In sharp contrast to fellow action god Schwarzenegger, Stallone has always seemed interested in the ravages of time — which is a big reason why the most recent (and possibly final) Rocky film won so much praise. The notion of Stallone doing an Unforgiven-esque film that takes the Rambo film back to its humble origins may seem a bit ridiculous — since the actor himself is still posing on the cover of Muscle & Fitness halfway through his seventh decade — but it would certainly be an intriguing twist in an already-surprising career second act.

What do you think, movie fans? Would you like to see Stallone create a legit ending for the Rambo series? Or are you more excited by the notion of Schwarzenegger returning to one of his iconic franchises for a subtly autobiographical take on King Conan?

Follow Darren on Twitter: @EWDarrenFranich

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