Rambo IV officially begins preliminary shooting in Bulgaria in January 2006, as Nu Image/Millennium Films have acquired film rights from Miramax/Dimension Films.
Sofia, Bulgaria, will be the first stop for the third sequel with filming locations in India and the United States to follow.
Sylvester Stallone signed with Nu Image/Millennium Films to begin the film in May 2005, stating that the production company had optioned a book for the new Rambo, for which he has adapted a complete script, likening it to vengeance films like Deliverance and Straw Dogs.
According to Stallone, the new plotline sees the character of Rambo as having “assimilated into the tapestry of America”, living with his family – including daughter – in relative peace for the past fifteen years but still working for the military, when work pressures force him to move his family to the American outback. The Navajo-Indian former Green Beret and his family are then subject to an attack by white-supremacists, and Rambo has to risk life-and-limb in rescuing his 10-year old daughter from being held hostage.
Commentators have noted that the premise of the film is similar to one mentioned by Stallone in 1997, following the Oklahoma bombings.Comparisons have also been drawn with the US federal government’s attack at Ruby Ridge in 1991, including the role played by former Green Beret Colonel James “Bo” Gritz.
Nu Image/ Millennium Films acquired the rights to the film franchise and their chairman, Avi Lerner, stated that Stallone is “one of the smartest guys I know.” Now having persuaded Stallone to co-star with a younger actor in Rambo IV, Lerner is confident about the film’s future. “It’s a franchise,” he says. “If No. 4 works, then you have a No. 5.”