The Director’s Cut of ’Rocky IV’ Gets New Theatrical Release
For well over a year, Sylvester Stallone has been hyping a director’s cut of Rocky IV, the particular Rocky sequel that saw the Italian Stallion avenge the death of his buddy Apollo Creed by fighting Russian boxing champ Ivan Dragon. It seemed as if the film was being cut to celebrate the original Rocky IV’s 35th anniversary. Buuuuuut, that was 2020, which came and went without the director’s cut.
Now it looks like it’s finally coming to theaters for one night only. (Hey the 36th anniversary is very important too.)
Stallone’s cut is officially called Rocky v. Drago: The Ultimate Director’s Cut. The press release says that it “reshapes ROCKY IV, delivering 40 minutes of never-before-seen footage. The fight scenes are more intense, the music is more powerful and the drama is heightened as world heavyweight champion Rocky Balboa (Stallone) must defend his title once again, this time against his most formidable opponent: Ivan Drago (Dolph Lundgren).”
Stallone debuted the poster for the film on his Instagram account:
(Hm, the poster says Rocky vs. Drago but the press release says Rocky v. Drago. Not sure which is technically correct.)
Here is the trailer for the director’s cut:
A much longer cut of Rocky IV is intriguing, although it carries at least one major red flag. Stallone previously warned that while you will get 40 new minutes in the film, you won’t get more of one particular fan-favorite character: Paulie’s robot sidekick. Stallone claimed at one point that he was removing the robot from the movie, not adding more. “The robot is going to the junkyard forever,” he told one fan on Instagram. Let’s pray he was joking.
The Rocky IV director’s cut will premiere in theaters through Fathom Events on November 11. The show will also include a live Q&A with Sylvester Stallone, where I’m sure he will have to answer for whatever he has done to Paulie’s Robot. Expect the director’s cut to debut on home video some time after that.