First Blood Author David Morrell Joins List Of Authors Who ‘Hates’ What Happened To Their Characters

If John Rambo’s history would have followed the author’s path, the only movie that would have been made was First Blood

It’s not unusual for authors to dislike adaptions of their work and pretty much disavow sequels. It’s also not unprecedented for the film versions of some novels to be equally or even more popular than the source material.

Stephen King hated Kubrick’s The Shining. The movie is considered to be one of the greatest horror films ever made.

Roald Dahl hated the Willy Wonka & The Chocolate Factory adaption so much that he refused to allow any more sequels of his work while he lived. Ironically, after Dahl’s death, Tim Burton’s greenlit by the estate remake (Charlie & The Chocolate Factory ⭐️⭐️⭐️) starred a very bizarre Johnny Depp as Willy Wonka that Dahl might have preferred.

Add David Morrell who is not, not, not a fan of the fifth installment of Rambo: Last Blood (thanks Newsweek):

“I hated the film,” Morrell posted to Twitter, agreeing with the overwhelmingly negative critical consensus surrounding Rambo: Last Blood. “The film is a mess. Embarrassed to have my name associated with it.”

I get Morrell being dismayed that his vision of the iconic character is different than what turned out in film and I do respect the author’s opinion.


At some point, you have to let your babies go, and being Morrell wrote First Blood in 1972 (cough, cough) 47 freaking years ago, it might be well past that time. Especially since Morrell (BOOK SPOILER ALERT in the next paragraph —

(killed off the John Rambo character in the book all those years ago. Morrell’s John Rambo is long, long dead and rotted)

What remains is Stallone’s and the fans alternate universe of what happened to John Rambo. Like it or leave it, the film John Rambo is what we have to enjoy and remember. I agree that pretty much all of what followed First Blood is neither creative, original or revolutionary film, but some of it is damned entertaining popcorn joy. Some of it is memorable in time and history and brought many viewers joy.

If you live in Hope, B.C. where First Blood was primarily filmed, it still brings business and life to that town today:

According to the town’s tourism board, each year, tourists numbering three times the Hope’s population of 6,200 visit filming locations, take pictures and re-enact scenes. 

Again, the Rambo sequels, have helped this very real economic benefit.

My wife and I go to the movie theater to be entertained. It’s something we enjoy doing together. It doesn’t always have to be a technically perfect movie for us to enjoy watching. That helps, surely it does, but some movies we like just because they were made, warts and all, to be entertaining to watch. To make us cry, laugh, scared, to invoke some sort of powerful emotion and experience.

The biggest sin to us are boring films. A film can be bad and still be fun to watch. Sorry to the authors who feel like their work was aborted in the adaption process, and certainly no disrespect intended, but just cash the check and carry on. Maybe someday you’ll be able to write an adaption yourself and we can see that reboot/remake instead?