Sylvester Stallone Reflects on Trying to 'Repair' 'Rocky IV' With New Director's Cut (Exclusive)

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Sylvester Stallone has looked back over his long career and found an opportunity to improve on one of his classics. The actor, screenwriter and filmmaker has created a new director's cut of his iconic boxing drama Rocky IV!

ET spoke with the 75-year-old movie star at a screening of Rocky IV: Rocky Vs. Drago -- The Ultimate Director's Cut at the Philadelphia Film Center on Thursday, and he opened up about why he chose to turn his sights on recutting the beloved classic.

"With COVID [lockdowns], I had about a year. And I thought, if there's any film I'd like to repair -- and there are some that are just beyond repair -- I thought I could do a lot better on Rocky IV," Stallone shared. "It was the most popular one, so I took a shot at it."

When Rocky IV first hit theaters in November 1985, the sports drama came in at a breezy 91 run-time. For his director's cut, Polygon reports that Stallone added 42 minutes of new footage, and yet the movie comes in at only 93 minutes. Meaning nearly half of the original has been changed in Stallone's definitive version.

Stallone said that, as he went back and looked through what they'd shot over three decades ago, "I realized I had a lot of footage I never used! I looked at it and thought, 'What is wrong with me?!'"

"It's funny how you grow and you live long enough you change your perspective," he added.

Stallone also reflected on how he was nearly killed by co-star Dolph Lundgren -- who played the mountainous soviet boxing champ Ivan Drago -- during one brutal boxing scene.

"I told Dolph, 'Go completely animal. Try to hunt me out in the first 30 seconds. Don't try too hard, but try.' He tried real hard and he caught me underneath the heart," Stallone recalled. "And those gloves we had are actually illegal today. They were really hard gloves."

The star said it was like being in "a car accident."

"My heart was starting to bleed... my heart stopped beating," he reflected. "I ended up on a flight to St. John's Hospital and the rest is history."

Rocky IV: Rocky Vs. Drago -- The Ultimate Director's Cut is out on digital and On Demand Nov. 12.


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