Interviews, Podcast

‘Rambo’ Creator David Morrell Discusses His Journey With A Cinematic Icon

David Morrell interview

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Today on the Culture Creature podcast, hear an interview with author David Morrell. Listen to the David Morrell intervew via the player above or in your podcast provider of choice.

Morrell is the author of the novel First Blood, which was adapted into the first Rambo film starring Sylvester Stallone. David also wrote novelizations of Rambo: First Blood Part II and Rambo III. He is the author of many other fiction and nonfiction books (learn more at

Today on the Culture Creature podcast, Morrell discusses the inspiration behind First Blood, his journey with the Rambo film franchise, his current projects, and the ‘Rambo 5’ story that he worked on with Sylvester Stallone.  

David Morrell interview

David Morrell and Sylvester Stallone. Photo courtesy of David Morrell

David Morrell on Rambo 5:

“In 2015, when Sly was working on Creed, he called me and asked to collaborate on a fifth Rambo film. Every weekend through March and April, we had many conversations. They went on for like ninety minutes to two hours. He and I worked out a story, which we were thinking of in terms of film festivals – he wanted it to be a ‘soulful journey’ – that’s a word Sly likes to use. And it was. This was a really emotional, powerful story – which I can’t talk about. He took it to the producers and they said, ‘No, we wanna do a movie about human trafficking.’ That was the end of that story so far as I know.

“Then Sly announced that he was retiring from the character. There was a big press announcement I believe in 2016, in which he said, ‘That’s it, I’m not playing Rambo anymore.’ So, alright, that’s fine.

“Then, to my great surprise, I learned that there’s this fifth Rambo film being shot. Which is not the story that Sylvester and I talked about. It is, in fact, a human trafficking story – or, at least, it has something to do with the Mexican cartel.

“But here’s the problem: the film company will not talk to me. I know nothing about this movie. And I’m being asked, by journalists such as you, and all I can say is, I don’t know anything. …

“I will say this. There have been photos of Sly. At the end of the fourth film, he shows up at a ranch in Arizona. The shots that are being released show Sly on horseback in cowboy regalia. He’s a rancher. They show him in a bunkhouse with weapons and stuff. They show him wearing a cowboy hat with a vest. I welcome that because when I wrote First Blood, I thought of it from the beginning as being a western. A modern western. If you look closely at it, this is the story of a gunfighter who wants to hang up his guns, but the local law won’t let him do it.”

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Rambo’s man cave…@rambomovie #rambo5

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Listen to the complete David Morrell interview on the Culture Creature podcast.

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