A deepfake video has been created that imagines Arnold Schwarzenegger as Ivan Drago in the film Rocky IV. The deepfake replaces Dolph Lundgren’s face with Schwarzenegger’s in classic scenes from the film. Although Rocky IV received poor ratings, it is considered a classic for its over-the-top story and action. The film’s pivotal plot point of Drago killing Apollo Creed drove the emotional journey of Rocky and set the stage for the successful Creed films.
Reimagining Rocky IV: Arnold Schwarzenegger’s Ivan Drago Deepfake
Rocky IV was released in 1985 and follows Sylvester Stallone’s character Rocky Balboa as he is pulled out of retirement after the death of Apollo Creed. Apollo is beaten to death in the ring by Russian newcomer Drago, prompting Rocky to seek revenge. The deepfake video shows a younger Schwarzenegger’s face added to Drago’s scenes, including his entrance into the ring and moments of intense sweat and blood. Although the deepfake creator acknowledges that Lundgren was amazing in the role, the video poses the question of what it would have been like if Schwarzenegger had been cast instead.
While Rocky IV was poorly rated by critics, it is now considered an 80s classic for its over-the-top story and action. Even Stallone himself released a new cut of the film. One factor that may have affected its critical reception was the casting of Lundgren instead of a star like Schwarzenegger, who had a notable 80s rivalry with Stallone. However, despite the negative reviews, Rocky IV played a significant role in the overall Rocky franchise. In the film, Drago killing Apollo served as a crucial plot point that drove Rocky’s emotional journey. Additionally, Apollo’s death became a major starting point for the Creed films, in which Rocky connects with Apollo’s son, Adonis. Lundgren’s portrayal of Drago has remained popular, and it is uncertain if Schwarzenegger would have returned to the role in Creed II as Lundgren did.
The Creed films, including Creed, Creed II, and the upcoming Creed III, have become some of the best-reviewed movies in the Rocky franchise. Although Rocky IV’s excessive nature and the battles with Ivan Drago did not resonate with critics, the film paved the way for the success of the Creed films. This success was achieved without the star power of Schwarzenegger, further highlighting the impact of Rocky IV and Lundgren’s portrayal of Drago.