In 1985, a plucky underdog from the “City of Brotherly Love” helped ease Cold War tensions with his gutsy triumph over a Soviet slugger and his passionate reminder that “everybody can change.” That ringside speech, of course, was the dramatic culmination of “Rocky IV,” one of the biggest hits of that year and critical component of the Sylvester Stallone canon. There were come-from-behind-victories, dramatic montages, and that stirring theme music, courtesy of Bill Conti — all the things that made the franchise so great. But fans of the Rocky saga might be forgiven for wondering, what got left on the cutting room floor?
Well, wonder no longer. “Rocky V. Drago: The Ultimate Director’s Cut” will deliver 40 more minutes of never-before-seen footage. The film, which Stallone directed as well as starred in, will be available for a one-night only engagement in theaters on Nov. 11. MGM will team up with Fathom Events for the nationwide screenings, which will also include a Q&A with Stallone that will be broadcast to certain venues, as well as a behind-the-scenes look at the film’s creation.
Here’s the official studio pitch: “The fight scenes are more intense, the music is more powerful and the drama is heightened as world heavyweight champion Rocky Balboa (Stallone) must defend his title once again, this time against his most formidable opponent: Ivan Drago (Dolph Lundgren).”
For those who are otherwise busy on the 11th, “Rocky V. Drago: The Ultimate Director’s Cut” will be available to rent on demand beginning Friday, Nov. 12.
In addition to Lundgren, the film features Brigitte Nielsen, Burt Young, Carl Weathers, Michael Pataki, Robert Doornick, Stu Nahan, Talia Shire and Tony Burton. It also sported a turn from renowned Mikhail Gorbachev impersonator David Lloyd Austin.