Why Sylvester Stallone Refused To Work With Quentin Tarantino Twice


For all of his indie street cred, Quentin Tarantino has always been interested in larger-than-life Hollywood personas. “Pulp Fiction” helped resuscitate the career of John Travolta, 1997’s “Jackie Brown” was a star vehicle for Pam Grier, and in recent years, golden boys Brad Pitt and Leonardo DiCaprio have become Tarantino’s most high-profile muses to date. With his action bona fides and star power, Sylvester Stallone seems a natural fit for Tarantino’s films, yet he’s refused the filmmaker twice.

In an interview with the Canadian magazine McLean’s, Stallone revealed that he turned down the part of trigger-happy thug Louis Gara in “Jackie Brown.” The part ended up going to Robert De Niro. He also opted out of 2007’s “Death Proof,” even though he was offered the part of deranged stuntman Mike McKay, who murders young women with rigged vehicles. Kurt Russell ended up playing the role instead.

For the “Rambo” and “Rocky” star, the violent premise of “Death Proof” was a bridge too far. “There’s no way,” Stallone said. “I have two daughters, and this fellow, his hobby is putting teenagers in his car and smashing them into a wall. That’s not going to work.”

Stallone and Tarantino had different visions for Rambo

Sylvester Stallone may be known for his bloody, action-packed roles, but his brand of violence doesn’t align with Quentin Tarantino’s. That’s the impetus behind Stallone’s refusal to do “Death Proof,” but it’s also why the two icons fundamentally disagree about the “Rambo” franchise. Indeed, the director had some critiques when it came to the Stallone-starring “First Blood.”


Stallone’s film deviates from David Morrell’s 1972 novel of the same name, in which Rambo is killed at the end. “I said, ‘Why don’t we take him right to the edge without annihilating him?'” Stallone recalled to McLean’s. “Quentin Tarantino said, ‘You’re a coward, you should have killed him!’ I said, ‘Quentin, you’re a lunatic. I want to do some sequels, brother.'”

Tarantino, meanwhile, has expressed interest in adapting the book himself, this time hewing closely to the source material. “If I just wanted to make a good movie, that I knew would be good, I would take David Morrell’s novel for ‘First Blood’ and do the novel,” the director said (via MovieWeb). “Not the movie that was made out of ‘First Blood.’ I would do the novel.”

For those hoping for a long-awaited Tarantino and Stallone collab, don’t hold your breath. The director has his dream cast in mind, and the Italian Stallion didn’t quite make the cut. “Kurt Russell would play the sheriff, and [Adam Driver] would play Rambo,” he added.

In any case, the likelihood of a Tarantino-directed “First Blood” is highly unlikely. The filmmaker has stated that his 10th film will be his last, and the tentatively titled “The Movie Critic” is rumored to take place in 1977 California, far from the jungles of Vietnam.

error: Content is protected !!