On the set of Rocky IV
BEHIND THE SCENES

Sylvester Stallone says he was in the ICU surrounded by nuns after he almost died making Rocky IV

Good thing it ended up being the best movie in the franchise

Sylvester Stallone just wanted to get an amazing take for Rocky IV back in 1996 but he nearly died on the first day of filming with his main competitor in the film. It’s considered one of the best movies in the franchise by fans as he goes toe to toe with the rock-hard Russian fighter “Ivan Drago,” played by Dolph Lundgren. The film starts with Drago killing Rocky‘s best friend “Apollo Creed” in the opening seconds of the 2nd round which sparks a fire for revenge in Rocky. But it turns out Stallone almost died for real when the fight scene went wrong.

Sylvester Stallone And Dolph Lundgren In 'Rocky IV'©GettyImages

Rocky IV has a special director‘s cut hitting theaters for 1 night only on Thursday, November 11, and ahead of its release, the 75-year-old actor reflected on the near-fatal shot. In his documentary, The Making of Rocky vs. Drago by Sylvester Stallone which is on his YouTube channel Stallone said when they filmed their first scene together, “The first thing we shot [was] my entrance, his entrance and the introductions and then I got really injured during the fight and I had to be flown into intensive care to California from Canada.”

He encouraged Lundgren who was a real martial artist, to show his “dominance.” “Well, he pulverized me,” Stallone said. “And I didn‘t feel it in the moment but later that night my heart started to swell. My blood pressure went up to 260 and I was going to be talking to angels, next thing I know I’m on this emergency, low-altitude flight. I‘m in intensive care surrounded by nuns and then after that, I had to go back and finish the fight.” Lundgren, who is seriously ripped in the movie had, “bruised the perio cardio sac, which is when the heart hits the chest – like in a car accident when your chest hits the steering wheel,” he explained.


The Rocky franchise will live on forever but considering he created the franchise and wrote the screenplay for the first six films it‘s shocking he has never received a cut from the movies. Producers Robert Chartoff and Irwin Winkler picked up the film but did not want Stallone who was 29 at the time to play the boxer. Stallone stood his ground but ended up signing away all the rights to the royalties and future use of ‘Rocky’ once he got the role.

He told Variety In 2019 “I have zero ownership of ‘Rocky.’” “Every word, every syllable, every grammatical error was all my fault,” he says. “It was shocking that it never came to be, but I was told, ‘Hey, you got paid, so what are you complaining about?’ I was furious,” he added. Thankfully, it all worked out well for Stallone, who now has a $400 million net worth and the pride knowing he brought so many families together as Rocky Balboa.

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