They Drew First Blood: Facts About The Rambo Franchise

The Rambo franchise is a series of films starring Sylvester Stallone as John Rambo, a Vietnam War veteran whose skills in combat make him a formidable opponent to police, enemy soldiers, and criminals. In 1982, the first film in the franchise, First Blood, was released. It was followed by Rambo: First Blood Part II (1985), Rambo III (1988), Rambo (2008), and Rambo: Last Blood (2019). In total, the franchise has grossed more than $819 million, with the character John Rambo becoming a staple in American popular culture. Take a look behind the scenes of the series, what makes it special, and how it’s withstood the test of time.

Rambo Got His Name From An Apple

First Blood was an adaptation of David Morrell’s 1972 novel of the same name. Interestingly, the iconic name “Rambo” wasn’t created by Morrell, but was inspired by a type of apple that was cultivated by a 17th-century Swedish settler named Gunnarson Rambo.

Rambo driving
Orion Pictures
Orion Pictures

When writing his book, Morrell was struggling to name his character and was eating an apple for a snack. When he asked his wife what type of apple it was she told him it was a Rambo and the name stuck. In the book, Rambo doesn’t have a first name but in the film, he was called John Rambo.