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Sylvester Stallone and 'Rocky' are heading to Broadway


From punch, punch, jab to punch, punch, pivot...

Rocky, the Musical. Coming to a theatre near you...

In the last three months, I've seen some incredible things. I experienced the fame and wonder of Times Square; worked out with overly-compensating gentlemen at the Muscle Beach in LA; and tried - in vain it would seem - to train a pug. And yet, despite each great and awe inspiring experience, few could compare to the Philadelphia Museum of Art.

Now, for those of you unaware of its cinematic relevance, allow me to explain. 35 years ago, a body-builder possessing a Mensa-worthy I.Q. wrote a script...a simple script...of a true underdog rising up from the slums before achieving greatness. His name...was Rocky. Yes, despite its magnificent galleries, presentations and exhibitions, the Philadelphia Museum of Art is better known by the iconic stairs leading up to it; stairs forever associated with the Rocky montage (see below:)

Downpour or no downpour, I was getting to those Rocky stairs...

And here we are, 2011, and Sylvester Stallone's Rocky has graced our screens six times, the latest being 2006's Rocky Balboa. So one has to wonder, where does the future lie for this boxing prodigy? Well, if recent news is to be believed, it would appear Mr. Balboa is heading to Broadway.

In a surprising move - yes, more surprising than a 62 year old Rambo - Stallone is believed to be adapting the underdog franchise for a theatrical audience, trading powerful montages and strong combos for family-friendly show-tunes and carefully choreographed dance compositions. What's more, in true Sylvester Stallone style, he's bringing in the big boys from all industries involved...and I mean all industries.

The Rocky statue - sitting proudly at the foot of Philadelphia's Museum of Art...Haye-hammering Klitschko siblings - Wladimir and Vitali - are believed to be casting an authentic eye over the script, and are set to train the as-of-yet uncast lead actor in the art of boxing (does it get more authentic?). Furthermore, The Expendables producer Kevin King Templeton has signed on to produce; Tony Award-winning The Producers writer Thomas Meehan is believed to be penning the story; and Alex Timbers - of Bloody Bloody Andrew Jackson recognition - is set to direct.

What more could we ask for? Well, how about a score - composed by Tony Award-winning duo Lynn Ahrens and composer Stephen Flaherty - to include musical renditions of "Eye of the Tiger", "Gonna Fly Now" and "Take You Back"? Deal.

However, Stallone has been keen to point out the key differences between the two, stating that, while Rocky revolved predominantly around boxing, its musical offspring will follow more intently on the romantic aspect of the tale. Speaking to The Hollywood Reporter, Stallone said: "At the end of the day, Rocky is a love story and he could never have reached the final bell without Adrian. To see this story coming to life on a musical stage makes me proud. And it would make Rocky proud." - hmm, not so sure about that Sly...

It's an interesting concept, that's for sure, but I reckon it will transition rather seamlessly. Rocky was an emotional journey, mapping the struggles of an outcast from the slums to global recognition, whilst dealing with the problems and issues caused by his choices. Does this not sound frighteningly similar to that of one 'Billy Elliot'? Sure it's boxing rather than ballet, but both broke the mould around them.

Either way, das musikal is set to premiere in Hamburg, Germany come November 2012, after which Mr. Stallone and Co are set to take an English version worldwide. Who knows...maybe success will see a Rambo transition to the musical genre?

See also:

8 suggestions for Julie Taymor's next Broadway adaptation

Top 20 underrated movie sequels

Top 7 Hollywood excuses for the next remake


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#1 contributor Ryan McMurtry 2011-12-02 21:11
It wouldn't surprise me if Stallone casts himself for the lead role!
#2 Haha... Luke Connolly 2011-12-02 22:51
Quoting Ryan McMurtry:
It wouldn't surprise me if Stallone casts himself for the lead role!

...yeah, knowing Stallone he'll find a way! Saying that, I'd love to see that - a 65 year old Rambo tap dancing his way through a 10 minute dance and song montage haha!

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