Three years after David Morrell’s ground-breaking novel First Blood became an equally ground-breaking film, 1985’s Rambo (First Blood Part II) established Rambo as an international thriller icon, breaking box-office records and adding Rambo’s name to the Oxford English dictionary.
Morrell’s novelization for Rambo (First Blood Part II) made a difference also. When the film’s producers asked him to write a book based on the script, he initially declined. After all, he hadn’t been involved in the film’s development, and at the time, most novelizations needed to adhere so strictly to the script that they were almost a form of automatic writing.
But then the producers gave Morrell permission to write whatever he wanted, provided that the novelization had a recognizable relationship to the film. Freed to be inventive and to make Rambo closer to the character as Morrell had portrayed him in First Blood, Morrell prepared a novelization that broke all the rules: one-third Morrell, one-third shooting script, and one-third material from James Cameron’s unused script for the film. (Yes, that James Cameron, before Aliens and Terminator Two.)
Continuing to break the rules, Morrell’s novelization was one of the first books of its kind to appear on the New York Times bestseller list. But even more unusual, Morrell had killed Rambo at the end of First Blood. The first version of the film killed him as well and was altered only after a near riot at a test screening, So how was Morrell going to resurrect his character for the novelization?
Rambo (First Blood Part II) will soon be available in a signed collector’s edition from Gauntlet Press (in collaboration with Borderlands Press). As with our previous collector’s edition of First Blood, the 500-copy numbered edition comes with a wealth of extras that include:
- First time in hardback
- Morrell’s revision of the 1985 text
- Morrell’s lengthy introduction that explains the behind-the-scenes intrigue of the movie and the novelization
- Morrell’s lengthy essay, “Rambo and Me: the Story behind the Story,” that analyzes
- Rambo’s origins in the social unrest and violence of the late 1960s in the U.S.
- A lengthy 1985 article from the Los Angeles Times, “The Curious Evolution of John Rambo,” detailing the numerous film studios and the 26 scripts that were involved in the dramatic ten-year process of bringing Morrell’s character to the big screen
- A deluxe 52-copy lettered edition will include additional material such as movie posters, press-kit materials, and Morrell’s fascinating essay about the history of movie knives and how Jimmy Lile’s knives for First Blood and Rambo (First Blood Part II) revitalized the high-end knife-making world.
Available to purchase for this title:
- 500-copy signed numbered edition
- 52-copy signed traycased lettered edition