It was announced last week that Sylvester Stallone will star in and direct Rocky Balboa, the first Rocky film since 1990. By the time the movie hits theaters, Stallone will be 60 years old. Production is scheduled to begin in early 2006. The producers have 48 hours to choose between these promising plot summaries.
Scenario #1: Now living comfortably with his wife and 40-year-old son turned daughter, Rockzanne, at a leisure village in Miami, Rocky comes out of retirement unexpectedly, coldcocking a strip-club bouncer so the Canseco brothers can make a break for it. The beloved ex-champ is let off with a fine after he begs the judge for mercy, claiming his erratic behavior was the result of a B12 shot given to him by either Miguel Tejada or Gloria Estefan. The incident does not go on his permanent record, but the knockout does.
Scenario #2: A cushy personal-appearance gig as a judge in the Miss Schuylkill Expressway beauty pageant turns tragic, and Rocky spends three nights in jail after one of the contestants accuses him of trying to pay for sex using a coupon clipped from the back of Modern Maturity. A confused Italian Stallion remains in his cell and spends the next 10 years writing letters to Washington demanding a special edition DVD release of Rhinestone.
Scenario #3: Rocky Balboa is forced to return to the ring to pay off a multimillion-dollar out-of-court settlement involving his signature kitchen aid, "Gonna Fry Now." A flashback sequence reveals how flagging sales forced his brother-in-law, Paulie, to have local Philly Teamsters slap bogus warning labels on a competing product that read Caution: prolonged exposure to this grill may cause you to name all your children George.
Scenario #4: Rocky's dream of becoming a big-time television producer takes several hits when his reality boxing series gets trounced in the ratings by a competing show on Fox, And Another Right!, which features pro-life judges sparring in matches fixed by Halliburton. The former champ's show, Pug'd, stops production suddenly during episode 4, when two bantamweights steal the lifts in his shoes.
Scenario #5: Balboa's old nemesis from Rocky III, Clubber Lang, agrees to a rematch after the Las Vegas revue he stars in, Mr. T and A, closes down due to an outbreak of good taste. The hotly anticipated fight is delayed over an hour while Lang takes off all his jewelry before going through the metal detector at the Thomas & Mack Center, then canceled when Paulie is unable to find a tube of Fixodent to keep Rocky's mouthpiece in place.
Scenario #6: Donald Trump offers the ex-champ $50 million to lace up the gloves for one more night at the Taj Mahal in Atlantic City, provided The Donald gets to choose the opponent. In the ensuing weeks Trump narrows a field of a dozen hopefuls down to one through a series of grueling boxing-related tasks, among them jumping rope with the eight-foot strand of earline hair that serves as the nexus for his comb-over. Trump shuts down the project at the 11th hour when he realizes he will actually have to put up his own money. Nonetheless, the film ends happily, as Rocky gets his room comped and tickets to see Jay and the Americans.
Scenario #7: George Washington Duke, the Man Who Would Be Don King from Rocky V, is back with a litigious vengeance. Duke threatens to sue Rocky if he fails to honor the terms of a contract signed in Mickey Rourke's sauna in 1987. The huckster supreme matches the sexagenarian Balboa against Apollo Creed's 86-year-old father, Zeus Creed ( Morgan Freeman or, if available, Bea Arthur). The normally unflappable Michael Buffer is so disgusted he opens the fight by yelling, "Let's get ready to Metamucil!!!!"
Scenario #8: Rocky is urgently called to Washington by President Bush, who believes a few televised rounds of a real American hero peppering Saddam Hussein in his underwear will help restore confidence in the war on terror. The former champ drops everything (including a ceramics class and fur shopping with Terrell Owens) and shows up in the Oval Office, ready to bring it on. Bush takes one look at him and apologizes. "My mistake," says the President. "I wanted that Rambo guy."
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