Even as an aging action star, Sylvester Stallone has kept up a steady pace. The actor has spent the past few years alternating between action vehicles and voice over work on children’s movies, always outpacing Hollywood obsolescence with his incredible work ethic and his willingness to not deviate from the ’80s action formula that helped make him a star. And while plenty of Stallone fans were pleased to see the actor pull in a Best Supporting Actor nomination for Creed, with Stallone’s latest production troubles, one cannot help but wonder if this will have an effect on the types of movies he makes going forward.

Earlier today, it was announced that Sylvester Stallone had suddenly decided to step away from STX Entertainment’s Godforsaken a little more than one week before production was set to start. According to the Deadline article, Stallone would have played an ex-convict who is forced to protect his family after his estranged son is murdered. Production on the film was set to begin in Atlanta on December 5, which meant that STX Entertainment was probably better served by pulling the plug on the production for now than trying to rush another actor into the role. As Deadline notes, this is a bit of an ugly look for the studio, as Stallone himself brought the project to STX and even bragged about it during the studio’s presentation at the annual CinemaCon convention in Las Vegas.

While this may seem like a pretty generic concept  —  very much in line with the type of late-career action films that Stallone has spent the last decade making  —  Godforsaken is (or was) set to be directed by Jim Mickle, the director of the underrated 2014 thriller Cold in July. That film featured incredible performances by both Sam Shepard and Don Johnson; Mickle has proven himself to be a director that understands both actors and atmosphere, and Stallone may regret passing on Godforsaken if Mickle and company find another actor to get this one off the ground. In the meantime, it will be interesting to see how Stallone chooses to fill that empty slot. Will he continue to make action movies, or does he chase after that elusive Academy Award? I guess we’ll find out.

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