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Movie adaptations of books might not be the first thing you think about when you hear the name Sylvester Stallone. But believe or not, here are six books that have been adapted into movies starring the Italian stallion.

First Blood by David Morrell
David Morrell’s debut novel First Blood was published in 1972, and since then, it has never been out of print. The movie version of First Blood came out ten years later and Stallone's characterization of Vietnam veteran John Rambo became instant pop culture gold.

A Running Duck by Paula Gosling
A Running Duck (alternative title Fair Game) is the best-selling debut novel by Paula Gosling, published in 1974. Loosely based on Gosling’s novel, the movie Cobra went up on the silver screen in 1986, starring Sylvester Stallone as Marion “Cobra” Cobretti. Stallone also wrote the screenplay for Cobra, combining ideas from the novel with ideas from his rewritten screenplay for Beverly Hills Cop where he had been cast as the lead. Stallone’s rewrites for Beverly Hills Cop turned out to be too expensive to film and so he quit the movie and was replaced by Eddie Murphy. Although panned by critics, Cobra was a success at the box office, grossing $160 million dollars, or six times its budget.
 

Judge Dredd by John Wagner and Carlos Ezquerra 
Judge Dredd is a British comic book character created by John Wagner and Carlos Ezquerra. Judge Dredd first appeared in 1977 as a character in the bi-weekly science fiction-anthology 2000 A.D. Since 1990, Judge Dredd has been featured in his own monthly magazine, Judge Dredd: The Megazine. In 1995, the movie Judge Dredd, starring Sylvester Stallone in the titular role, went up in theaters. At the box office, the movie did better internationally than in the U.S. but was panned by fans, critics, and comic-book creators alike. In retrospect, Stallone has called the movie “a missed opportunity.”

 

 

Get Carter by Ted Lewis
Originally titled Jack’s Return Home, Get Carter is the second novel by Ted Lewis, published in 1970. In 1971, the novel was adapted into the cult classic Get Carter starring Michael Caine as Jack Carter. In 2000, the movie was remade with Sylvester Stallone as Jack. In the remake, the story has moved from the world of organized crime in London in the 1960s to the crime world of late twentieth-century Seattle. 

 

Jitter Joint by Howard Swindle (Eye See You, the movie)
Jitter Joint is the first fiction publication by Texas journalist Howard Swindle. Published in 1999, Jitter Joint tells the story of homicide detective Jeb Quinlin who battles his addiction to alcohol at a rehab facility. In 2002, Jitter Joint was adapted into a movie with Sylvester Stallone playing FBI agent Jack Malloy who goes into rehab after witnessing a brutal killing while on duty. Because of problems surrounding the production, the movie was initially given only an international release with the title D-Tox. Later, an American release followed, titled Eye See You.

 

 

Du Plomb dans la Tête by Matz and Colin Wilson (Bullet to the Head, the movie)
Du Plomb dans la Tête is a graphic novel by Matz (pen name for Alexis Nolant) and Colin Wilson. In 2013, the movie adaptation Bullet to the Head, with Sylvester Stallone playing hitman James Bonomo, was released in the U.S. Quick tip: In Bullet to the Head, there is a reference to First Blood. See if you can catch it.