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Rocky 4’s Drago Was Saved By Stallone Casting Dolph Lundgren

Sylvester Stallone casting Dolph Lundgren in Rocky IV saved and improved the original concept planned for Ivan Drago. In 2021, Stallone re-edited Rocky IV to improve upon his original 1985 film with 40 minutes of new footage. The result is Rocky IV: Rocky Vs. Drago, a more dramatic version of the film that restored the themes and ideas Stallone originally intended in 1985. Sly’s friend John Herzfeld simultaneously filmed the documentary, The Making Of Rocky Vs. Drago: Keep Punching, where Stallone revealed his original plan for Rocky IV, which was changed by his casting Dolph Lundgren as Drago.

The original idea Stallone had for Drago was “an ape… a giant Neanderthal… huge… primitive, terrifying…” But when Herzfeld met Lundgren and gave Sly his headshot, Stallone was so impressed by Dolph’s look, he immediately reconceived Drago and the Rocky IV script. The new, Lundgren-inspired Drago became “the future… perfect, intelligent, flawless” to contrast how Rocky “not perfection… He’s awkward, he’s smaller, he’s flawed…” The new Drago became about “science… He’s evolved 1,000 years where man should be…”, and Stallone’s theme was this man symbolizing the future vs. Rocky, who would use naturalistic training to fight Drago. It was a smart thematic shift by Stallone, but he regrets how these themes were lost in the original Rocky IV’s glossy montages because of his immaturity as a filmmaker.

Related: Rocky 3’s Thunderlips Fight Could Explain Why He Beat Drago

Stallone Kept Changing His New Drago Concept For Rocky IV

Dolph Lundgren as Ivan Drago.

Stallone continued to be inspired by Dolph Lundgren as he further reconceived Ivan Drago in Rocky IV. Lundgren is extremely intelligent; he’s a chemical engineer and a Fulbright scholar in real life. Stallone wanted Drago to be equally intelligent and vocal. Sly wrote a great deal of dialogue for Drago in the original Rocky IV script. But Stallone quickly realized that Dolph’s imposing mystique as Drago was diminished the more he spoke. His solution was to slash Ivan’s dialogue to preserve the mystery of the Russian giant. Unfortunately, Drago’s character was lost as a result.

However, Dolph Lundgren’s look and performance in Rocky IV are so iconic as Ivan Drago that he still became a popular and unforgettable villain. Yet Stallone wanted to regain the intelligent Ivan he originally foresaw, so his edits in Rocky Vs. Drago gave the towering Russian fighter back some of his humanity and gave more hints at the mind behind the muscle. There are indeed more indications that Ivan is a more complicated and intriguing man in Rocky Vs. Drago as opposed to the silent monster in the 1985 Rocky IV.

Drago Wasn’t Really A Villain In Stallone’s Rocky IV Plan

Sylvester Stallone as Rocky Balboa boxing Dolph Lundgren as Ivan Drago in Rocky IV

Ivan Drago is best known for killing Apollo Creed (Carl Weathers) in the ring, and he still murders the charismatic ex-champ in Rocky Vs. Drago. But Stallone’s director’s cut restores another important aspect of his original Drago concept: Ivan was a victim of and was manipulated by the Soviet government. Drago was intended as a Soviet recruitment tool for their technologically advanced program, and he was seen as a puppet who must do as he was told. With a cocktail of steroids to enhance his strength and his high-tech training regimen, Ivan was led to believe by his Soviet masters that he could never be beaten.

Sylvester Stallone reedited Rocky Balboa’s climactic fight with Ivan Drago to better convey how the Russian came to realize that he was fed lies by his superiors. In 1985’s Rocky IV, Drago pridefully turns and announces he’s fighting “for me!” But in Rocky Vs. Drago, as Ivan gets hurt and is unable to put Balboa away, he learns he isn’t everything his masters said he was. After all, if he is as superior as they claimed, why couldn’t he beat the “inferior” Rocky? Stallone’s idea that Drago wasn’t really a villain but was used by the Russians comes through more clearly as he’s defeated by Balboa in Rocky Vs. Drago. And Dolph Lundgren’s Russian endures as a much better idea than Stallone’s original Drago concept.

Next: How Rocky (& Creed) Would Be Different If Stallone Didn’t Kill Apollo

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‘I am officially off the market’: When Margot Robbie revealed she made the ‘conscious’ decision of not dating actors

Margot Robbie revealed her decision to not date actors because of the media scrutiny that came with a public relationship of two high-profile actors
Back in 2015, A-lister Margot Robbie made a declaration that she would not be dating any actors. The actress may have alluded to her fiance Tom Ackerley, who she married the following year in 2016. In an exclusive interview with Marie Claire, she revealed that being in a relationship as an actor herself came with its own set of challenges. She believed that dating someone who was popular would add on to the media scrutiny.

Margot Robbie opened up on why she made a conscious decision to not date actorsTalking to Marie Claire, she claimed, “I am officially off the market.” She then shared the reasoning behind her decision and added, “I made a conscious decision not to date actors.” She continued to explain, “But not because I hate actors. That’s a nasty generalization to make, and that’s not the case. People take such an interest in your love life when you have a profile, it puts a lot of stress on a relationship.”
The Barbie actress continued, “So two people with profiles, I figure it’s just double the amount of scrutiny, and I’d like to avoid that at all costs.” This came after reports of her locking lips with Tarzan co-star Alexander Skarsgard started making rounds. It was reported that she was caught kissing the actor during the Sundance Film Festival.

Margot Robbie revealed she opted for a minimal lifestyle even after becoming an actorIn the interview, Robbie also opened up about how she was adapting to fame. She shared, “I have a normal 24-year-old life. If I were a waitress, I’d probably have the exact same lifestyle. I’d go to the same clubs I go to already, live in the same house with the same housemates, hang out with the same people.”
However, Margot Robbie tied the knot with Tom Ackerley who is an English producer and actor. The duo met on the sets of 2013 movie Suite Francaise where Tom was working as an assistant director. Post marriage, both of them launched their production company LuckyChap Entertainment.

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Monica Bellucci and Tin Burton at lunch in the restaurant in Selci Lama

For All Saints’ Day, the Hollywood star from Tiferno returned to his native Umbria to enjoy a moment of relaxation and then visit his parentsOn the occasion of the All Saints’ Day celebrations, the Hollywood star of Tiferno origin, Monica Bellucci, returned to her native Umbria to enjoy a moment of relaxation and to visit her father Pasquale and her mother Brunella.Flanked by her current partner Tim Burton, she went to lunch, together with about twenty old friends, at the Osteria del Musicista, which has always been her favorite restaurant, in Selci Lama.Menu dedicated to typical dishes of the area, which includes an appetizer with breadsticks lined with coppa, duck in porchetta and grilled pork livers, polenta with wild boar sauce accompanied by the very typical cappelletti in broth.To conclude, a dessert based on fried “ciaccia” with Nutella and roasted chestnuts.
Having paid the bill and greeted the restaurant owner and lifelong friend, Roberto Polchi, Monica brought home cappelletti and broth for a family dinner.

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‘Rocky’ Was Quite Different In His Original Screenplay, Sylvester Stallone Claims

Sylvester Stallone took his friend’s advice on a rewrite of the original screenplay to Rocky. A few tweaks later, he was on his way to major success.
In the new Netflix documentary Sly, Stallone discussed how he initially conceived of the project, which had a much harder edge. In the early version, Rocky was depicted as a “thuggish” character, inspired by Martin Scorsese’s crime drama, Mean Streets.

But Stallone’s perspective changed when a friend read the script and thought the boxer was too cruel for audiences to actually care about him.
Stallone recalled her crying.

“She goes, ‘I hate Rocky. I hate him. He’s cruel. He hits people. He beats them up.’”
Stallone took it to heart, and asked what he could do to soften the character.

“I said, ‘what if you stop short of it?’ Like, maybe he almost did. He could have, that’s his job, but he doesn’t?’ ‘That’d be nice,’” he added. “I said, ‘What if he had a girlfriend or something?’ ‘Yeah, that’s nice.’ So I go back, start writing that: ‘Girlfriend. Nice.’”
$117 million in box office later, a franchise was born.

Stallone also revealed that actor Dolph Lundgren sent him to the hospital during one fight scene in Rocky IV.
“Dolph Lundgren… he pulverized me,” Stallone says in the documentary. “Later that night, my heart started to swell—which happens when the heart hits the chest—and then my blood pressure went up to 260, and they thought I was going to be talking to angels. Next thing I know, I’m in intensive care, where I’m surrounded by nuns, and I thought, ‘OK, that’s curtains.’”
Stallone was in the hospital for nine days following the incident, praying for “one more round.”
“For the first minute of the fight, it is going to be a free-for-all,” Stallone told Lundgren. The Swedish actor joked in a separate interview that all he did was “obey orders,” explaining, “[Stallone] was the boss. I did what he told me.”
Doctors allegedly told Stallone that he received a blow to the ribs that made his heart rattle around in his ribcage, a condition typically seen in head-on collisions. “I did hit a bus, of sorts,” Stallone joked.

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