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BILL HOFFMANN: RAMBO VS. OSAMA

It's Rambo to the rescue. Sylvester Stallone plans to resurrect his famed macho action hero to take on the Taliban.

Stallone, 55, is at his Miami home working on the script for a fourth film featuring former Green Beret John Rambo, London's Sunday Times reports. http://www.nypot.com/even/11122001/entertainment/34133.htmIn the new story, Rambo parachutes into Afghanistan to battle leaders of the Taliban. One report says Stallone is toying with the idea of his character capturing terror chief Osama bin Laden alive. Stallone couldn't be reached for comment yesterday. But it wouldn't be the first time Stallone's hero has gone marching with guns blazing into Afghanistan. In his last Rambo flick, the brawny fighter went behind Soviet battle lines to rescue his former superior. In that 1988 film, "Rambo III," Sly joined Afghan fighters to oppose the Russian invaders. Earlier this year, Stallone said he had mixed feelings about coming back 13 years later for one more Rambo go-round. "I don't know if I'd look good in a thong anymore. In my fantasies, I'd love to do one more, but I don't think it would be in good taste at this age," he said in an interview. But his feelings have apparently changed since the attacks of Sept. 11. Bob Weinstein of Miramax Films said last March that he hoped to convince Stallone to do one more Rambo movie. "We'd love nothing more than for Stallone to be involved. We think it's a billion-dollar property," Weinstein said. If "Rambo IV" goes before cameras before the end of the year, it could be ready by next summer. Stallone's "Rambo" series began in 1982 with "First Blood" and gave rise to two more action movies in which the fearless one-man army kicked the villains' butts. His three "Rambo" films and five "Rocky" movies have grossed more than $2 billion combined.


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