See Arnold Schwarzenegger As The Most Iconic Rocky Villain

By Douglas Helm | Published

Arnold Schwarzenegger and Sylvester Stallone were easily the biggest action stars in the ’80s, but the studios somehow never took advantage of this by putting them in a movie together at their peak. However, deepfake technology allows us to imagine what it might have been like if someone put Arnie into Sly’s Rocky franchise. Instagram user brianmonarch posted a deepfake that shows us what it would have been like if Schwarzenegger had played Ivan Drago in Rocky IV, and the results are pretty cool.

Thanks to AI technology, we can see an alternate world where Arnold Schwarzenegger played Ivan Drago in Rocky IV instead of Dolph Lundgren.

Of course, egos probably played a role in preventing this from happening, as Arnold Schwarzenegger and Sylvester Stallone had their famous rivalry for decades. It’s hard to imagine how much a Sly and Arnie movie would have made during their respective peaks, but it’s safe to say it would have been quite a bit, especially if it had been in a major franchise like Rocky.

Of course, Dolph Lundgren gave a great performance as Ivan Drago in the film, and there’s really no guarantee that Arnold Schwarzenegger could have prevented Rocky IV from being the worst-reviewed film in the franchise up to that point. However, the film did eventually end up becoming a classic, especially considering the pivotal plot point of Apollo Creed being killed in the ring led to the incredible Creed franchise with Michael B. Jordan taking over for Sly as the lead. In any case, it seems like things turned out for the best.

Arnold Schwarzenegger And Sylvester Stallone

Of course, Arnold Schwarzenegger and Sylvester Stallon eventually squashed their rivalry and let the money talk, appearing in their first film together in 2010’s The Expendables. While The Expendables was certainly not the same level of quality as the original Rocky film, it was still cool to see so many iconic action stars share the screen together, even if Arnie’s role was essentially a cameo. However, Schwarzenegger would get an expanded role in the sequels that followed, The Expendables 2 and The Expendables 3.

Dolph Lundgren also appeared alongside Arnold Schwarzenegger and Sylvester Stallone in the Expendables films, bringing the whole Rocky connection full circle. Unfortunately, we won’t get more of this trio, as Schwarzenegger announced that he doesn’t plan on returning for the upcoming fourth film, Expend4bles.

Arnold Schwarzenegger
Arnold Schwarzenegger and Sylvester Stallone

However, the film is still pretty stacked with heavy hitters, as it stars Jason Statham, Sylvester Stallone, Dolph Lundgren, and Randy Couture reprising their roles from the previous films, along with newcomers to the cast Curtis “50 Cent” Jackson, Megan Fox, Tony Jaa, Iko Uwais, Jacob Scipio, Levy Tran, and Andy Garcia.

Arnold Schwarzenegger isn’t part of Expend4bles but is now friends with his former rival, Rocky himself, Sylvester Stallone.

The release of Expend4bles is right around the corner, with an upcoming theatrical release date of September 22. Even if Arnold Schwarzenegger won’t be around for the ride, the film should still be a massive spectacle, with Dolph Lundgren saying that the budget of Expend4bles is around $100 million.

Meanwhile, the Rocky franchise is still going strong, with the most recent Michael B. Jordan-starring entry, Creed III, available to stream on platforms like Prime Video, The Roku Channel, Spectrum TV, MGM+, ROW8, Vudu, Redbox, and Apple TV.