Sylvester Stallone Wanted Robert Downey Jr. to Get Hot Again Before They Work Together: “I do admit… not ashamed of it”

Sylvester Stallone Wanted Robert Downey Jr. to Get Hot Again Before They Work Together

In-limbo films litter the floors of the box office industry. And like the scripts that may never get to see the light of day, the stories that surround these unmade films are just as haunting and mysterious as the incomplete visions they are made out to be. One such script comprises Sylvester Stallone’s ambitious Edgar Allan Poe biopic that was supposed to showcase the eerie genius of the gothic poet and author, as opposed to the gloomy reality of his life and work.

And although the film never received a nod from the studios, let alone enter the pre-phases of production, an actor was already being eyed for the role and Stallone was quite set on getting his script off the ground alongside this fellow genius of an A-lister.

Sylvester Stallone
Sylvester Stallone

Also read: Sylvester Stallone Found Scene Where Woman He Slept With Flees in Horror after Realizing He’s 75 “Quite flattering and also quite depressing”

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Sylvester Stallone Once Courted Robert Downey Jr. For Poe

In a 2006 interview, much before Robert Downey Jr.‘s rise to unprecedented fame and stardom earned through his Iron Man projects at Marvel Studios, the actor opened up about taking on a role that was at par with his unique collection of idiosyncratic parts in films. After Chaplin catapulted him to an Oscar-nominated status, Robert Downey Jr. soon began to show a knack for challenging roles that do much more than exploit his witty and fast-paced mind. His unique talent then also gave birth to projects like Tropic Thunder and Sherlock Holmes. 

However, these roles came in the aftermath of his drug conviction and a short but damning stint in prison during the early 2000s. The decade-long bitter struggle with addiction and substance abuse that preceded it did nothing to help his case in Hollywood when he made a grand comeback statement with Gothika alongside Halle Berry in 2003. However, a talent like Downey Jr. is rather hard to imitate and Stallone knew that well. Thus began the filmmaker’s long and ardent courting of the Endgame star for his unrealized Edgar Allan Poe movie. During his ’06 interview, RDJ claimed:

“I do admit I had dinner with Sly; not ashamed of it, it was a blast. He wrote a great script. He said I should wait until I’m hot again – ‘We should wait until you’re hot again so we can do this at a big studio. I don’t want to do this cheap.’”

RDJ and Jude Law as Sherlock and Watson
Robert Downey Jr. in Sherlock Holmes (2009)

Also read: Sylvester Stallone Didn’t Want Robert Downey Jr. in His Movie Due to His Dark Past, Regretted it When Iron Man Star Became MCU’s Richest Actor

Considering how no studio wanted to touch RDJ at the time due to his record and the fear of losing money and reputation in case the actor relapsed, the requirement that Sylvester Stallone put forth was not by any means an unwarranted one. And yet, a newly-appointed CEO at the time (Kevin Feige), bet the entire future of Marvel Studios on the actor a mere two years later, catapulting the franchise (and Downey Jr.) to the greatest tiers of success the movie industry has ever witnessed.

Stallone’s unwillingness to go ahead with his initial plans means that the audience can only simmer in the tragic missed opportunity of a potentially great Poe movie starring an early 2000s Robert Downey Jr.

Sylvester Stallone’s Vision For His Unfinished Poe Movie

The ingenuity of Edgar Allan Poe lay in the author’s ability to attribute any element with an eerie sense of the supernatural and dedicate any object to the realm of the veiled shadows. Like all great poets and artists, he too possessed a brilliance that was ahead of his time while also leading a life of relative obscurity. But unlike most readers of the gothic poet, it is not this sad, tragic aspect of Poe’s life that fascinated Sylvester Stallone. Instead, the Oscar-nominated filmmaker wanted to focus on the poet’s spirit” and show that which made Poe a master of the fantastical realm of the haunted.

“Only I’ll make it about the genius of Poe, and not about the reality. About his spirit. Who wants the caustic realities of real life when fantasy is so much better? And who wants an Edgar Allan Poe movie that tells the realities if the reality turns out to be two hours of Lost Weekend in drag?”

Sylvester Stallone and Robert Downey Jr.
Sylvester Stallone and Robert Downey Jr.

Also read: Sylvester Stallone Was Furious Despite Taking Nearly $50 Million Salary For His $1.7 Billion Worth Rocky Franchise 

The otherworldly script that tragically lingers in the shadows still takes precedence in the Rocky actor’s life and career. Despite it being almost half a century since the conception of Stallone’s script, his enthusiasm for finding a way to see it in the theatres remains undeterred.

“It’s a never-ending journey, and I would hate myself if I don’t continue it at least to the best of my ability and try to see it actually come to fruition. To be able to go out there and say, ‘I accomplished it. It may have taken 45 or 50 years, but it’s done.’”

Currently, the Rambo actor is busy leading the Kardashian life as he opens the doors to his family home for the cameras for a new reality show proposed by his daughters. The show is a testament to the loving bond that holds the Stallone clan together and puts on display the enviable trust, warmth, friendship, and laughter running in the family for the first time for the public to see.

Source: Chud

Written by Diya Majumdar

With a degree in Literature from Miranda House, Diya Majumdar now has nearly 1500 published articles on FandomWire. Her passion and profession both include dissecting the world of cinema while being a liberally opinionated person with an overbearing love for Monet, Edvard Munch, and Van Gogh. Other skills include being the proud owner of an obsessive collection of Spotify playlists.