Sylvester Stallone has been going strong in Hollywood for more than five decades. Most of the world came to know him once Rocky was released in 1976. But Stallone was working before that and, prior to his days as boxing legend Rocky Balboa and eventual action movie star, he had plans to write and star in an Edgar Allan Poe biopic, simply titled Poe. Now, not only has Stallone dusted off the idea, but he's shared a never before seen image of himself in costume.

Most people associate Sylvester Stallone with his on-screen work, but he's actually written or co-written quite a few movies over the years, including Rocky, Over the Top, Cliffhanger and The Expendables. Before he got his big break, Stallone was working on a script about legendary author Edgar Allen Poe. While Stallone eventually realized he was wrong for the part, there was a point in time where the actor was trying to portray him on screen and it got far enough for him to do some costumes tests. Taking to Instagram, Stallone shared the only remaining picture from those tests. Here's what he had to say about it.

"The only surviving picture that has never been seen anywhere before... The first serious screenplay I ever wrote was about the great writer Edgar Allan Poe, at one time I had aspirations to play him and this was part of the costume design... But I realized I wasn't really right for the part, So this is all that remains. Maybe someday I'll direct, who know?"

It's fascinating to see a young Sly in 1800s garb. But it's also challenging to see him as Edgar Allan Poe, the author behind such works as The Masque of the Red Death, The Tell-Tale Heart and The Raven. Still, the idea of a biopic centered on the writer seems like a great idea. Luckily, Sylvester Stallone still likes the idea as well. He posted a video to Instagram as well, declaring that he's actually working on the script for Poe currently.

"It's a never-ending journey, and I would hate myself if I don't continue it at least to the best of my ability and try to see it, actually, come to fruition. To be able to go out there and say, 'I accomplished it. It may have taken 45 years, 50 years, but it's done.' Anyway. That's what I'm working on. It's been one of the great challenges of my life."

Edgar Allan Poe was born in 1809 and died when he was only 40 under very mysterious circumstances. The cause of his death remains unclear, but he remains one of the most celebrated and well-known American authors ever. There's a compelling story to be told there and someone, even if it's not Sly, should probably tell that story on screen. John Cusack did portray Edgar Allan Poe in the more recent 2013 thriller The Raven, but that wasn't a straight up biopic, being a fictionalized account of the writer. When a madman begins committing horrific murders inspired by Poe's works, a young Baltimore detective joins forces with Poe to stop him from making his stories a reality.

With any luck, Sylvester Stallone can get this script finished and, as crazy as it may sound, direct Poe himself. While that seems like a bit of a long shot, if for no other reason than Stallone's busy schedule, it's still fascinating to think about. And it's hard not to respect the man's determination. Be sure to check out the photo and video from Sylvester Stallone's Instagram below.

Ryan Scott