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‘Rocky IV’ director’s cut headed to a theatre near you

With an additional 40 minutes of footage, this icon of Cold War cinema will be packing lots of extra punches this November

Sylvester Stallone punches Dolph Lundgren in a scene from the film ‘Rocky IV’, 1985.
1985 in a nutshell, as Sylvester Stallone and Dolph Lundgren in Rocky IV.
Photo by United Artists/Getty Images

Fun fact about the making of Rocky IV: Sylvester Stallone suggested he and Dolph Lundgren hit each other for real.

Stallone took some body shots and felt a burning in his chest, but like any red blooded American in the mid ‘80’s pretending to fight a Russian, he ignored it, and soldiered on. Unfortunately, the giant Swed pretending to be a Russian was in fact a legit martial artist, and had done some serious damage to Stallone. Within a few hours, when the star’s blood pressure hit 200, it became apparent all was not well, and he was flown to Santa Monica where in spent between four and eight days in the ICU. (Reports are conflicting.)

Apparently, “Lundgren had punched him so hard in the chest, Stallone’s heart had slammed up against his breastbone and began to swell, cutting off the blood supply and restricting the oxygen flow throughout the body.”

According to Variety, 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).”

Not only that, but for a lucky few, Stallone himself will be on hand to discuss Rocky V. Drago: The Ultimate Director’s Cut, which is only appropriate, as Stallone directed as well as starred in the film. That Q&A will then be broadcast to select venues, along with a behind-the-scenes look at the creation of Rocky IV.

Stallone’s new edit will be out in theaters for one night only, November 11th. For those unable to catch the Cold War classic, the bigger, longer, and almost uncut version will be available for streaming Nov. 12th.