Sly sets two at Nu Image


When it comes to Sylvester Stallone's career, there ain't nothin' over till it's over.

The boxoffice comeback champ has just inked a lucrative deal to direct and star in two action films with his "Rambo" producers Danny Dimbort, Avi Lerner and Trevor Short of Nu Image/Millennium Films.

Stallone also will produce the films with Kevin King-Templeton and Lerner. Dimbort, Short and Boaz Davidson will serve as executive producers.

Several scripts are being considered for follow-ups to his surprise hit sequels to "First Blood" and "Rocky." With Nu Image/Millennium's new WGA interim deal speeding up the process, the first script is expected to be locked and loaded by the fall, with production set to begin shortly thereafter.

"The past year and a half of working with Avi, his partners Danny and Trevor and his film family has been nothing but a high point for me and my career and an extremely rewarding experience," Stallone said. "Avi is a real gentleman and a man of his word."

It's a deal few would have expected just a few years ago, when Stallone followed up his role in "Spy Kids 3D: Game Over" with a failed network boxing reality TV series, "The Contender." But in 2006, Stallone wrote, directed and starred in "Rocky Balboa," the sixth "Rocky" film after a 16-year gap between sequels. The MGM release grossed $70 million on an estimated $24 million budget.

The second part of Stallone's one-two punch came with "Rambo," which he also starred in, wrote and directed. The film, distributed by Lionsgate, made $18.2 million in its opening weekend and earned an estimated $25 million in its first 10 days of release.

It's a fitting new chapter in the 38-year film career of Stallone, who has made a career of championing men who overcome seemingly insurmountable odds.

"Sly and Kevin are a great team, and the prospect of doing two more pictures with them is good for all of us," Lerner said. "My partner, Danny Dimbort, did an amazing job selling 'Rambo' across the globe. With Sly attached, I know Danny will be as successful with the next two. Sly is a great filmmaker and a great writer. This is a perfect match."