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Sylvester Stallone says he almost quit Rambo over original ending

The action legend wanted a more optimistic ending than what was written

TORONTO, ONTARIO - SEPTEMBER 16: Sylvester Stallone attends Netflix's
Sylvester Stallone nearly quit First Blood over its ending. (Getty Images for Netflix)

Sylvester Stallone has revealed that he almost quit the first Rambo film First Blood because of a dispite over the original ending.

While the character is now one of Stallone's most famous, the action legend revealed in his Netflix documentary Sly that he threatened to walk from the project entirely over the film's ending.

Read more: Sly: Sylvester Stallone reveals his abusive dad’s last words on his deathbed

Stallone said: "At the very end, originally the way it was in the script, I am shot by Colonel Trautman and I die in slow motion.

"I said to the director, 'This is not good.' I don't want everyone who is a Vietnam vet to see this film and [see] me shot and realise, 'Oh, so there's no hope for me at all. None.'"

SYLVESTER STALLONE in FIRST BLOOD (1982), directed by TED KOTCHEFF. Copyright: Editorial use only. No merchandising or book covers. This is a publicly distributed handout. Access rights only, no license of copyright provided. Only to be reproduced in conjunction with promotion of this film. Credit: CAROLCO / Album
Sylvester Stallone in First Blood. (Alamy)

He added that his motivation was the high rate of suicide among Vietnam veterans: "At that time, they were losing 20,000 vets to suicide a month. I said, 'I don't want to be part of it. I don't. I'm not going to.'"

Although the ending was shot as written, it was later changed after negative test screenings to the climax seen in the film which sees Rambo give an impassioned monologue about Vietnam before surrendering to the police.

An ending was also shot in which the character takes his own life but Stallone wanted the character to survive which is a major difference to the book the film was adapted from.

SYLVESTER STALLONE, FIRST BLOOD, 1982
Sylvester Stallone in First Blood. (Alamy)

First Blood ended up being a huge financial success and Stallone would end up reprising Rambo in four more films, the latest of which was released in 2019 to negative reviews.

Sly is just the latest Netflix documentary to detail the life of a huge pop culture figure following the recently released Beckham and Arnold which offered insight into David Beckham and Arnold Schwarzenegger respectively.

Sly is streaming on Netflix

Watch below: Watch a trailer for Sly