Venice: Sylvester Stallone & ‘Rambo: Last Blood’ Poised To Light Up The Lido?

By Andreas Wiseman, Nancy Tartaglione

EXCLUSIVE: Things are heating up in regards to the Venice Film Festival after we exclusively reported yesterday that Warner Bros’ Joker is eyeing the awards season launchpad.
Now comes word that Sylvester Stallone could light up the Lido with Rambo: Last Blood, which is due to get a September 20 release stateside via Lionsgate and an Italian release soon after. Nothing has been set, but buzz is building about a potential special screening. Sly has previous history with the festival having received its Jaeger-LeCoultre Glory to the Filmmaker Award in 2009 and also being on hand for the official screening of Cop Land back in 1997.
Stallone was feted at Cannes this year where he showed a rapt audience first footage of the fifth installment in the money-spinning Rambo franchise. This go-around Sly’s John Rambo pits his wits against a Mexican Cartel. Adrian Grunberg (Get The Gringo) directs the well-sold Millennium movie which co-stars Paz Vega (The OA).

Said Stallone in Cannes, “In every film, Rambo never goes home, he goes out the to the jungle or Afghanistan. In the new one, he does come home, but in a way he never arrives. He’s there, but he’s not. That’s what the whole story is built around. As soon as he walks outside his door, he has no more control. The world controls you.” He also added, “There’s going to be some serious vengeance in this movie. A lot of people getting hurt.”

Speculation is building about potential Venice titles with private screenings for the festival under way. The event, which runs August 28 – September 7, will make its lineup announcement on July 25. Beyond the movies we highlighted yesterday, another that could be in the mix is the Safdie brothers’ Uncut Gems, which is meant to be strong.

One more Lido potential to keep an eye on is a TV series. The only two small screen dramas to debut at Venice so far are HBO’s Mildred Pierce and Paolo Sorrentino’s The Young Pope. The follow-up to the latter is currently in post-production so will probably be in the conversation. It seems likely that one of the growing number of high-end series emanating from Italy will make it to the festival.

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