England's Sun is reporting that Sly Stallone is gearing up for Rambo IV, in which everyone's favorite psycho Vietnam vet will take on Osama bin Laden and his band of Islamic radicals in Afghanistan.
How times have changed. When last seen chewing up scenery on the big screen (1988), Rambo was fighting with Islamic radicals in Afghanistan, against the Soviet invaders of that outpost of freedom.
Rambo IV is due out sometime next year. If–or perhaps I should say when—Rambo IV tanks in theaters, Sly can turn to his other moribund Cold War series to inflict more patriotic gore on the few fans he has left. Rocky VI is reportedly in production, too. Need we point out that the Italian Stallion's last great opponent, in 1990's Rocky V, was a Russkie brute? With the possible exceptions of Mikhail Gorbachev and Goodwill Games inventor Ted Turner, perhaps no other internatial celebrity has taken the Cold War's demise more squarely on the chin than Stallone.
In any case, we await Rambo V, in which our hero fights on behalf of Airstrip One and Eurasia against Eastasia. And Rambo VI, in which he fights on behalf of Eastasia and Eurasia against Airstrip One.
[Note: As reader Charlie Giotta has helpfully pointed out, it's 1985's Rocky IV that deals with the Russkie; Rocky V is a properly post-Cold War epic, in which Mr. Balboa takes on his former protege from Philly rather than a Soviet punching machine. Apologies.]