Two of Sylvester Stallone's Rambo movies will be gone from Netflix by the time the calendar turns to February. Rambo (2008) and Rambo: Last Blood (2019) are among the movie titles leaving before Feb. 1. The first three Rambo movies are available to stream on HBO Max.
The Rambo franchise began in 1982 when First Blood hit theaters. The movie introduced Stallone as John Rambo, a troubled Vietnam War veteran forced to fight for his life in the wilderness of Washington state while police and government officers track him down. Stallone co-wrote the screenplay with Michael Kozoll and William Sackheim, and it was based on the 1972 novel by David Morrell. Ted Kotcheff directed the movie.
Although First Blood was not well received by critics in 1982, it was a huge blockbuster around the world. It is now considered one of Stallone's best movies and is also beloved for the performances by Richard Crenna and Brian Dennehy. In 1985, Stallone worked with writer James Cameron and director George P. Cosmatos to craft Rambo: First Blood Part II, which was an even bigger box office smash.
The main trilogy ended in 1988 with Rambo III, in which John Rambo finds himself in the middle of the Soviet-Afghan War. He is sent to Afghanistan to rescue Crenna's character, Col. Sam Trautman. Stallone wrote Rambo III with Sheldon Lettich and it was directed by Peter MacDonald.
After years of sitting dormant, Stallone revived the franchise with the simply titled Rambo in 2008. This time, John Rambo leads mercenaries into Myanmar to rescue Christian missionaries. Although Stallone earned praise for his performance, the response to the movie was mixed overall. It grossed $113.2 million, but it cost at least $47 million to make. Stallone directed this time, from a script he wrote with Art Monterastelli.
Eleven years later, Stallone brought Rambo back again with Rambo: Last Blood. This time, John Rambo goes to Mexico to rescue his kidnapped adopted niece. Stallone again received good notices for his performance, but the movie was accused of a racist depiction of Mexico. It was directed by Adrian Grunberg from a script by Stallone and Matthew Cirlunick and a story by Stallone and Dan Gordon. Last Blood was not a big hit, grossing $91.5 million. There are no solid plans for a sixth Rambo movie at this time, but Stallone recently told The Hollywood Reporter he would be interested in overseeing a prequel.
"I think it's going to happen," he said. "I wanted to do it like a Ken Burns documentary on Vietnam, where you drop young Rambo in there and he's this outgoing guy, football captain, and then you see why he becomes Rambo. But what they want to do is a modern-day story where I pass the torch. That's getting close."