Released in 1985, Rocky IV had Sylvester Stallone‘s Rocky Balboa heading to the Soviet Union to fight towering Russian boxer Ivan Drago (Dolph Lundgren). The film is returning to theaters in the form of a new director’s cut retitled as Rocky IV: Rocky vs. Drago The Ultimate Director’s Cut and ahead of the impending release, a behind-the-scenes clip has surfaced.
The clip features director and star Sylvester Stallone discussing his approach to assembling the new cut, which features “40 minutes of never-before-seen footage. Stallone talks about resisting the film for the new cut in the behind-the-scenes clip, starting things off by saying: “I didn’t believe in myself as a filmmaker as I do now.”
35 years later, Stallone reveals one of his biggest regrets with the film, “I just think it would be great for him to rally, so it isn’t a complete slaughter,” Stallone said, speaking on Apollo Creed’s (Carl Weathers) fight with Drago. Saying that if he had to do it all over again, he would “never” have killed off Apollo Creed. The director says it was “foolish,” and felt like he needed it as a dramatic springboard. Stallone says he now wishes he had simply had Drago paralyze Apollo, having the former champ using a wheelchair. Apollo would then take on the role vacated by Rocky’s former trainer Mickey, resulting in a whole new dynamic.
Stallon rewatched Rocky IV in the behind-the-scenes clip and was asked how he felt after watching it now. “I feel foolish, my god, the ship sailed, the circus left town.” He went on to say, “That’s why this is a mixed bag of emotions right now, it makes me very angry, gratified, but also angry that I didn’t see it at the time. If I only knew then what I know now.”
When Rocky IV was released in 1985, the film became the highest-grossing of all the Rocky films, as well as the highest-grossing sports drama in cinema for nearly a quarter-century. It also starred Brigitte Nielsen, Burt Young, Carl Weathers, Michael Pataki, Robert Doornick, Talia Shire, Stu Nahan, and Tony Burton. Irwin Winkler and Robert Chartoff produced the feature, with Arthur Chobanian and James D. Brubaker serving as EPs.
Watch the clip below: