Want to know just how far ahead of the #OscarsSoWhite curve Sylvester Stallone was as a director? Consider this bit of IMDb trivia for his 1978 behind-the-camera debut Paradise Alley:
Stallone told People magazine that his original idea for this script was to make all the main characters African-American. He could not find the financing for the film until he starred in it himself and changed the other characters to Italian-Americans.
Stallone wanted Al Pacino for the co-lead role of Lenny Carbioni, one of three brothers living in 1940s-era Hell’s Kitchen. That never happened, with the part going instead to Armand Assante. However, as Stallone recently (and spectacularly) punctuated on Instagram, he still hopes to one day work with Pacino.
Commenters are chiming in with story ideas. One of the more elaborate suggestions for Mssrs. Stallone and Pacino comes from Rocco Gioia:
rockyg83 Honestly @officialslystallonethink about this… You get Al Pacino to play in a movie. Where he is just like Scarface. (Age wouldn’t matter for the role.) Have his character already on top, but he is a bad guy. Now your character (20 year New York City firefighter), you have a son who gets involved into dealing drugs for Al’s character, your son makes a mistake, and Al’s guys kill him, and make it look like a drug overdose. Now the fact that you’re a firefighter, you don’t make much money, and Pacino owns the court system. Long story short. You use your Firefighter skills to track him down, and even burn down his drug warehouses. (He took your son’s life, you take what he love most, MONEY). Eventually you get to his Mansion, place goes on fire… Boom, Bang, Boom you got a story.
Not bad. Stallone also separately noted via Instagram this week that the L.A.-stop location for Bruce Springsteen’s “The River” tour is the same one that he used to film the climactic fight sequences in Rocky. Maybe when Pacino and Stallone finally team up, The Boss can provide a song or two. Boom, Bang, Boom you got a soundtrack.
Previously on FishbowlNY:
Sylvester Stallone vs. Suge Knight