Director Peter MacDonald recalls the original director, miscast “Russians” and even a child actor irking star Sylvester Stallone on Rambo III.
The making of Rambo III had a tumultuous production that saw numerous firings and hirings, with some, like director Peter MacDonald, making out far better than his predecessor, Russell Mulcahy, whose canning gave the second unit director a shot at helming his first feature. But Mulcahy was far from being the only production member who was sent home…
In an excerpt (via Vanity Fair) from the new book The Last Action Heroes: The Triumphs, Flops, and Feuds of Hollywood’s Kings of Carnage, Peter MacDonald recalled stepping in for Rambo III after Mulcahy miscast several Russian troops, which lead Sylvester Stallone called “third-rate male models” and “two dozen blond, blue-eyed pretty boys that resembled rejects from a surfing contest.”
But it wasn’t just adults that got to Stallone. In one of the more amusing anecdotes from the set of Rambo III, Peter MacDonald recalled an instance where one child actor had the correct Stallone on his lines. “I’m doing a tracking shot with him and Sly with quite a bit of dialogue, and Sly gets his lines wrong. The kid picked him up and told him the right line. Now I’m looking at Sly and thinking, ‘This is not going to work too well.’ Stallone and his entourage skulked off. A short while later, a producer approached MacDonald and said, ‘Sly’s had a great idea. The kid’s got to die.’” In the same piece, MacDonald admitted the kid was a handful. That said, at one point Sly actually considered bringing the character back in a Rambo sequel, so this may not be 100% legit, and it’s sounds a bit like MacDonald has sour grapes in the excerpt.
The Last Action Heroes’s partial synopsis: “Drawing on candid interviews with the action stars themselves, plus their collaborators, friends, and foes, The Last Action Heroes is a no-holds-barred account of a period in Hollywood history when there were no limits to the heights of fame these men achieved, or to the mayhem they wrought, on-screen and off.”
Despite its issues during production, what are your feelings on Rambo III? Where does it rank within the series for you? Let us know!
Originally published at https://www.joblo.com/peter-macdonald-recalls-multiple-rambo-iii-firings/