2017 marked the forty-fifth anniversary of David Morrell’s groundbreaking First Blood, the novel that introduced Rambo and pioneered a new way of writing action that changed the world of thrillers.
An equally groundbreaking film adaptation changed the way action movies are made. The huge success of that film led to three film sequels, and as an experiment, Morrell wrote novelizations for two of them: Rambo (First Blood Part II) and Rambo III.
Producers usually require novelizations to adhere so strictly to the script that there’s little opportunity to be creative. But as Rambo’s creator, Morrell had unusual freedom to add new material. In this collectors’ edition for Rambo III, that freedom is manifest.
Providing abundant supplementary material, Morrell discusses the film’s complex journey. An early script had the potential to justify the project’s nickname, “Rambo of Arabia.” But as the budget exploded, the script was simplified through numerous drafts until the final version was only half of the original story.
Major elements of the early script survive, however, in this remarkable novelization, to which Morrell added his own plot points. Almost thirty years after the book was published, it remains timely with the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan having been replaced by America’s invasion of that same country in the war against terrorism. Rambo’s exposure to the principles of Islam is also timely, given the current political climate.
Rambo III is available in a signed collector’s hardback from Gauntlet Press (in collaboration with Borderlands Press). As with our previous collector’s editions of First Blood and Rambo: First Blood Part II, the 500-copy numbered edition comes with a wealth of extras that include:
- First time in hardback in English, except for a small library edition in the U.K.
- Morrell’s revision of the 1988 text
- Morrell’s lengthy introduction, focusing on the behind-the-the-scenes drama of the film
- An unpublished section from Morrell’s manuscript
- Pages from the early script (with Morrell’s comments)
- Morrell’s essay about his relationship with Carolco Pictures, the company that produced the first three Rambo films as well as Terminator 2, Total Recall, and Basic Instinct
- A lengthy 1988 Variety article, “Rambo III: Budget Run Amok (How Rambo III Became the Most Expensive U.S. Pic Ever Made)”
- A lengthy 2004 Entertainment Weekly article, “The Boys Who Burned a Billion Dollars,” about the spectacular rise and fall of Carolco Pictures
- Morrell’s essay about Gil Hibbens’ knives for Rambo III and Rambo IV
- Morrell’s essay, “Rambo IV: The Story Behind the Story”
A deluxe 52-copy signed lettered edition includes the following additional material:
- Rambo III Book Covers (with Morrell’s comments)
- Rambo III and Rambo IV Posters (with Morrell’s comments)
- Rambo III On-Set Photo Gallery (with Morrell’s comments)
- Rambo Merchandising (with Morrell’s comments)
- Rambo III Film Production Notes (reprinted from marketing materials given to film reviewers)
Both editions are signed by David Morrell.
The Signed Numbered edition is $60
Signed Traycased Lettered edition is $200