1. How hard was it to get financing and studio support for 'Rocky Balboa?' How did it compare to getting the first 'Rocky' made? Doug San Diego, CA1. It was really impossible to get any support for ROCKY BALBOA. I started six years ago, bringing up the idea with a couple of studio heads who said, “Sure, if you can make it for eight million dollars,” which is an unsubtle way of telling me to get lost. So to make an epically-long story short, if the MGM President and Vice President didn’t get bounced and replaced by some very talented individuals, like Harry Sloan and Rick Sands, this film never would have happened. They had said it’s an embarrassing idea because I’m too old to be a fighter. I said it’s about more than just fighting. It’s about not giving up and if someone were willing to get embarrassed like I was, and like the character was, it would make an interesting story, because it’s all about not quitting in the face of adversity. Even though you may appear incredibly foolish, you have to march to the beat of your own heart. Compared to getting the first ROCKY made, ROCKY BALBOA was one hundred times more difficult simply because the mindset in Hollywood is all about crunching numbers and presales and the ones that really rule the roost are the publicity departments, meaning: how are we going to sell this film, what’s the hook? In the 70s they were like cowboys who would say, “I got a feeling in my gut and I’m gonna take a chance even though it may not make financial sense.” Bring back the cowboys, hang the businessmen and films will be much more enjoyable.
2. Hi Sly! How different was the version of Beverly Hills Cop that you were going to make, from the version we all ended up seeing?? Andrew Sharp Llandeilo, Wales, United KingdomWhen I read the script for BEVERLY HILLS COP, I thought they’d sent it to the wrong house. Somehow, me trying to comically terrorize Beverly Hills is not the stuff that great yuk-festivals are made from. So I re-wrote the script to suit what I do best, and by the time I was done, it looked like the opening scene from SAVING PRIVATE RYAN on the beaches of Normandy. Believe it or not, the finale was me in a stolen Lamborghini playing chicken with an oncoming freight train being driven by the ultra-slimy bad guy. Needless to say, they dropkicked me and my script out of the office, and the rest is history.
3. Who are the bad guys in the new Rambo movie, and what are their motivations to do what they do? Joey Redballs, Skankakee, ILPresently, the bad guys in RAMBO IV are the sadistic leaders of a far-Eastern country. The soldiers are sadistic and they slaughter helpless villagers. Believe it or not, it’s a modern day sampling of THE MAGNIFICENT SEVEN. Their motivations are political, and sexually perverse, as documented for a fact. They’ve been known to resort to skinning alive, crucifixions, beheadings (with the head remaining on a pole for months)…. Wow, I don’t want to go on because it’s too sick to believe…. I’m actually thinking of making RAMBO IV a musical, and for the big finale every evening he blows up the entire audience.
4. Hi Sly, I was reading an article about you, I believe in Time magezine. If I remember correctly you were saying that Elvis Presley wanted you to show Rocky at his home theater. Did you ever meet with Elvis Presley? Thank you for taking the time, you will always be my favorite actor. Elijah Doss 23 years old Scottsdale, ArizonaI was a very young, lucky, foolish actor who at the time was too shy to meet with Elvis. So I sent the film to him and he watched it with his buddies. Ever since then I try to never lose an opportunity to meet special people, even if you have to get off your deathbed.
5. Dear Sylvester is it true you'd love to work with Pixar on The Incredibles sequel? Reynel MartinezI thought THE INCREDIBLES was fantastic, and although I’ve never been asked, I would love to use this rumbling engine, this thudding voice box in the next installment
6. Mr Stallone, This is actually a two parted question, both of which have to do with your upcoming film, "Poe". First and foremost, what inspired you to sit down and write a screenplay based on the legendary writer's life. Secondly, there have been all kinds of casting news online, but you never know what to believe. In your interview with Variety, you mentioned that you want Robert Downey Jr. for the lead role. Do you have any updates for us? Sincerely, Grant Gibson aka "Big Daddy G" Chardon, OhioI was introduced to Poe by accident. I was basically broke and freezing in New York in January of 1970 and decided to seek some shelter and heat in the New York Public Library, which is a citadel of extraordinary books. I struck up a conversation with a guard, who said I should go to the basement and check out the archives. I did, and seeing the actual writings of Poe really caught my imagination, because the way he would write would be to split the page down the middle and glue it in one long strip so he could get more words on the page. Everything about him was unique, so I thought he represented the heart and soul of what it’s like to be a struggling artist who is ahead of his time. I was thinking of Robert Downey, Jr., who would be wonderful, but so would several other young actors.
7. Mr. Stallone Rumor has it that Mr. T & Ivan Drago are going to be in "Rocky Balboa", is this true or just a rumor??? Thanks Ruben Cardenas Phoenix, ArizonaActually Mr. T and Ivan Drago are in a quick montage before the main event in ROCKY BALBOA. It’s only for a second or two, but I appreciate their agreeing to participate. Apollo Creed is not in ROCKY BALBOA because he wanted many thousands of dollars for a two-second piece of he and Rocky boxing. Unfortunately we couldn’t afford it. Then again, what ever happened to loyalty? Apollo Greed?
8. Question: Many horror fans know of your son Sage Stallone as a big supporter of horror movies through his work with the Grindhouse Releasing comany. Do you share your son's fascination with horror films and do you have any plans to make or star in a horror film? Mike, Melbourne, AustraliaI made several horror films unintentionally and don’t plan to do any in the future, even though I appreciate the craftsmanship it takes to manipulate the audience’s emotions and have their nervous systems work overtime. But my favorite horror films are the ones that really reflect everyday life, such as WHEN A STRANGER CALLS, rather than eight Hooters girls on a canoe trip in uncharted waters north of Canada.
9. For the love of all that is good and Holy. How do you use the 3 seashells?! Louis Saucedo Dallas, TexasOK, this may be bordering on the grotesque, but the way it was explained to me by the writer is you hold two seashells like chopsticks, pull gently and scrape what’s left with the third. You asked for it…. Be careful what you ask for, sorry.
10. Is there any chance you will try to make Hunter [a novel written by James Byron Huggins with Sly in mind as the lead character] into a major motion picture? Craig Zablo Stallonezone.Com USASure, there is always a chance to make HUNTER. I spoke with the author for many hours and like the man a great deal and thought, “This has the potential to be an interesting horror film as long as we can work in a love scene using the three seashells.” No, seriously, I would like to re-read the novel and try to visualize it and maybe if I don’t do it, it could certainly be a directorial challenge.