Sylvester Stallone has made several comebacks over the decades. He ‘came back’ with Cliffhanger. Then another comeback with Rocky VI. One of the cool things about him is that he helps others out who go through the same shit. Stallone said: “I like using people that had a moment and then maybe have fallen on some hard times and give them another shot.” So, a list…
Rourke’s big comeback gig in The Thin Red Line was axed, Rourke finally reconciled that he was now a ‘has been’ and lived in a ‘state of shame’. Step up Sylvester Stallone. Down on his luck, chance would have it that Sly would find Rourke eating one of the last meals he could afford at a restaurant. Sly then graciously cast Rourke in the ‘Get Carter’ remake, at the very least, giving him a pay-day.
The first ingrate on the list. It wasn’t enough that Stallone made Weathers a B-Star in the ’80s (his only other real ‘big’ movie was Predator, right?). In 2006 when Weathers was trying hard to even get a small role in E.R., Stallone offered him a role in Rocky VI. His response? To demand an inordinate amount of money. Stallone himself ended up saying: “Whatever happened to loyalty, Apollo Greed?”
Of course, Lundgren’s first big role was in Rocky IV. Possibly his biggest of all (but not my favourite Lundgren movie). Which lead to Masters of the Universe, The Punisher and arguably Universal Soldier etc. But then Lundgren fell into DTV wasteland. Sly gave him a helping hand by casting him in The Expendables, which gave his career a boost of sorts. Hey, he’s not a miracle worker!
This was a cool one. Van Damme had a big career, but it had the potential to be astronomical. That was ended when his ego got the better of him in the mid ’90s. He went through a 15 year drought and even made a movie about his downfall (JCVD). Sly helps him out, Expendables 2. What makes it cooler? By all accounts, Van Damme was sincerely appreciative and a pro on the set.
Now just because you haven’t seen him recently in a big Stallone production, doesn’t mean the chance wasn’t given to him. I’ve always liked Biehn and thought he should’ve been a bigger name in Hollywood. Didn’t go that way though. In response to Sly’s offer (EX2), Biehn said:
“I don’t need Sylvester Stallone“. Well, here we are years later and you’re still making nothing but DTV gruel.
We all know this one I suppose. Snipes has been released from the joint. And almost like it was perfectly planned, Stallone got him on board The Expendables 3. Snipes got his due in a very big opening action sequence, which is basically a ‘welcome back’ party for the martial arts expert and action star.
When it was (really) taboo to speak positively of Mel, Stallone did it, arguably jeopardising EX1 promotion. And then he went at it again, getting him on board for The Expendables 3. Mel is down, due to human shit trying to bury him. But not out. Sly tried to get him to be director of EX3, didn’t work out, but he accepted the role as the chief villain in the movie. Given the power of Gibson, this is more of a ‘thought that counts’ deal, and it does…
Now, here’s one you’re probably not familiar with. Mel Gibson famously told Caviezel that if he took the part of Jesus in The Passion, he’d
“never work in Hollywood again”. And true enough, this extraordinary actor did struggle somewhat after having been reduced to TV work. Well, step up Sly Stallone! Jim Caviezel was in Escape Plan, with Sly and Arnie. He was the prison warden.
Christian Slater is another. His career hit the skids when they killed off the action genre in the mid/late 90’s. Recently, Sly gave him a boost in Bullet to the Head. And like Jean Claude Van Damme, Slater was grateful at being given an opportunity to get back onto the big screen. “He’s a cool guy”, said Slater.