Tommy Morrison’s character in the fifth installment of the Rocky franchise killed off lead actor Sylvester Stallone’s portrayal of Rocky Balboa in the original script.
Behind the scenes information from website ‘Total Rocky’ revealed the news in a shocking twist to the 1990 movie plot.
Widely received as the most unloved of the films made under the banner, ‘Rocky V’ had quite an ending which may have made things even worse for some.
Balboa, after his famous fight with Tommy Gunn, played by former world heavyweight champion Morrison, passed away.
Suffering from brain damage confirmed early in the movie, Balboa had ringing in his ears from the irreversible (but later reversed in Rocky Balboa – 2006) ailment.
According to the drafted screenplay, which was going to be used until a late change, it fell to wife Adrian to announce Rocky’s death.
In a further twist that didn’t make the final cut, Adrian was also pregnant with a girl at that time.
A POLICEMAN SPEAKS: “The ambulance is a minute away.”
ADRIAN: “When you get to the hospital, you’ll be all right.”
ROCKY: “My hands are cold.”
ADRIAN (she takes his hands): “I’ll warm them; Whatever you want.’”
ROCKY: “I don’t want the kid (son Rocky Jr.) to see me like this.”
ADRIAN: “He won’t.’”
ROCKY: “Adrian, you’re the only thing I ever loved. I only want us to be happy, y’know?’”
ADRIAN (pregnant with a girl): “I know. When you get better we’ll go away for a rest. Get ready for the baby.”
ROCKY: “I can’t wait to see my daughter. It’s gonna be great.”
Rocky’s hand slackens in Adrian’s grip and his body slips into motionless repose. His eyes close, leaving his face sublimely peaceful.
ADRIAN: “Rocky?? Rocky?? Oh God, don’t go, Rocky. Please, Oh God don’t take him! I love you’, don’t leave me!”
An ambulance arrives and paramedics force their way through the crowd.
PARAMEDIC: “We’re ready, Mrs. Balboa. We’ll take him now.”
ADRIAN (softly): “You’ll never take him.”
The scene fades and dissolves through the image of Adrian cradling Rocky’s head and fades in on the museum steps. Adrian stands beside the massive bronze statue of Rocky: Below her is a large gathering of press and friends.
ADRIAN: “Rocky Balboa passed away early this morning. With my husband went a man who proved you don’t have to be born great to achieve greatness.
“From his humble beginnings, he became a symbol for many that life doesn’t make the man, the man makes the life.
“As long as there are people willing to meet the challenges of life and not surrender until their dreams become realities, the world will always have their Rockys. (She looks at the statue)
“I’ll always love you,” she concluded.
The camera tilts up to the powerful statue and after a moment it dissolves into the same spot where years before an unknown fighter danced jubilantly and raised his hands in his victory over life.
The scene freezes-on Rocky’s leap of triumph.
Maybe Morrison wasn’t quite on board with being the one who ends Rocky’s life as Ivan Drago (Dolph Lundgren) had done to Apollo Creed (Carl Weathers) in Rocky IV.
But it seems Stallone was the one who firmly thought Rocky should not only survive, but once again come out on top by knocking Gunn out.
It was the correct decision. As in 2016, Stallone won his one and only major acting nod for his role as Balboa in hit spin-off ‘Creed’.