John Rambo stands tall as part of a new wooden statue recently erected in the small British Columbia town where the first movie was filmed, and franchise star Sylvester Stallone approves. With the majority of First Blood shot in and around Hope, B.C., the town has served as a tourist attraction for fans of the franchise over the past few decades. Hope continues to offer a self-guided Rambo tour that lets visitors take a look at where several iconic scenes were shot. Erected on Aug. 14, fans can now check out a large wooden statue bearing the likeness of John Rambo himself, located in the town's Memorial Park.

Sculpted by artist Ryan Villiers, the statue was given the green light by Sylvester Stallone before it was erected. "Sylvester saw the (statue) before it went up and was quite pleased with it," city Coun. Victor Smith said, noting that the town ensured Stallone and his agent were happy with how it looked before unveiling the statue to the public. The locals are happy with the Rambo statue as well, with resident James Mehl referring to the local First Blood production as "the one trademark, outstanding thing that's happened in Hope."

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Directed by Ted Kotcheff, First Blood was based on the novel of the same name by David Morrell. With some creative input from Stallone, the movie follows the story of John Rambo, a troubled veteran suffering from PTSD who winds up in the small town of Hope, Washington just looking for something to eat. Things escalate quickly after a confrontation with the local law enforcement, leading to a manhunt for Rambo in the nearby wilderness after he escapes from custody. Along with Stallone, Richard Crenna and Brian Dennehy also starred. For many fans, the movie is still considered to be among the best of the franchise.

Following the success of First Blood, Stallone would continue to reprise the role of John Rambo in several sequels. Originally, the franchise served as a trilogy, with two sequels following First Blood in 1985 and 1988. Stallone then made a shocking return to the role in 2008's Rambo, and despite the 20 year time gap since the last film, the iconic character was deadlier than ever. He would reprise the role once again in last year's Rambo: Last Blood, giving the action movie hero yet another adventure. Stallone has since teased reprising the role in another sequel, suggesting it'd likely be set on an Indian reservation.

Of course, this isn't the only statue to go up based on a popular Sylvester Stallone character. A bronze statue of Rocky Balboa also stands at the entrance of the Philadelphia Museum of Art, located at the top of the steps the boxer can be seen ascending in the original Rocky movie. That statue has served as a popular tourist attraction for many years as well, so it was only natural for John Rambo to also finally get his own statue in the town where his original movie was filmed. This news comes to us from iNFOnews.

Jeremy Dick at Movieweb
Jeremy Dick