Dolph Lundgren Nearly Killed Sylvester Stallone in ‘Rocky IV’

by Jeremy Spirogis
Sylvester Stallone playing Rocky in

When it involves fictional athletes, there may not be a extra well-known instance than Rocky Balboa. Since showing on-screen within the Sylvester Stallone-penned Rocky in 1976, the character has had a long-lasting impression on society for over 40 years.

Part of this has to do with Stallone’s dedication to the position because the franchise continued into a brand new period. This dedication, nonetheless, nearly killed him. 

Sylvester Stallone playing Rocky in 'Rocky IV'
Sylvester Stallone appearing in Rocky IV | United Artists/Getty Images

The Rocky Story

In the mid-’70s, Stallone was a down-and-out actor who had little cash to his identify and was taking roles in softcore pornography, based on Forbes.

Stallone wished to inform the story of a down-and-out newbie boxer who was given an opportunity to shine on the nationwide highlight. This story, which was famously impressed by the rise of Chuck Wepner, was a success with followers and critics alike. 

Over the subsequent decade, Rocky went from a gritty, dramatic story of an underdog set in Philadelphia to a campier, extra violent film the place the punches grew to become extra sensible. That franchise continued till 2006 when a 60-year-old Stallone stepped into the ring one ultimate time within the final movie of the primary sequence known as Rocky Balboa. 

The franchise continues to have a long-lasting impression today. The Creed franchise, the brainchild of Black Panther director Ryan Coogler, follows Adonis Creed, the son of Rocky’s authentic opponent, Apollo. Apollos was killed in Rocky IV after taking up the evil Ivan Drago within the ring. It’s one of the well-liked films within the franchise. 

During the movie, nonetheless, Rocky decides to get revenge and combat Drago on his residence turf. In doing so, Stallone nearly had his real-life echo that of Apollo on-screen, as a punch from the large Dolph Lundgren practically ended his life. 

Casting Ivan Drago

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According to ScreenRant, when Sylvester Stallone wrote the position of Ivan Drago, he wished a menacing, highly effective determine who appeared each bit as giant as he was written within the script. Lundgren matches the position completely. Stallone acknowledged that he knew he had the proper man for Drago as a result of he instantly hated him when he laid eyes on him and noticed him as an ideal villain. 

Lundgren was effectively over six-feet-tall and had muscle tissues all over the place. Although the character of Ivan Drago was a quiet and lethal warrior within the ring, his seems to be struck worry into opponents all over the place. Stallone wished someone who might believably kill someone within the ring, and he nearly discovered how effectively he forged the position firsthand. 

Sylvester Stallone’s near-death expertise

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Stallone opted for actual hits as usually as potential in Rocky IV. While the unique has aged effectively, among the combating results haven’t. Fighters fall to the bottom after minimal contact. Stallone didn’t need this to be the case with the fourth movie, and he instructed the towering Lundgren to not maintain again. 

“He hit me so hard he almost stopped my heart,” Stallone instructed Fox News.

“I told him, ‘Why don’t we just do it? Just try to knock me out. Really cut loose as hard as you can.’ That was a really stupid thing to say. Next thing I know, I’m on a low-altitude plane to the emergency room, and I’m in intensive care for four days. And there are all these nuns around.”

Stallone recovered, and the film was a smash hit. Recently, the characters had been reunited on-screen in Creed II, which targeted on Adonis as he confronted Drago’s son within the boxing ring. The movie was successful.

Outside of this reunion, Stallone and Lundgren have labored collectively a number of occasions since Rocky IV, and their friendship is as sturdy because it ever was. All of that would by no means occur, nonetheless, if Lundgren’s punch had been any more durable. 

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