Rambo 5 official title revealed

The Rambo franchise may be ending in the same way it began. 

Shortly after Sylvester Stallone confirmed that Rambo 5 had started filming in Bulgaria, The Hollywood Reporter has revealed the official title of the film: Rambo: Last Blood

The title reveal was buried in a casting announcement that confirmed Paz Vega will play a reporter named Carmen Delgado, who eventually teams with Stallone's John Rambo after members of a Mexican drug cartel kidnap her younger half-sister and carry her across the U.S.-Mexico border

The Last Blood title suggests that Rambo 5 truly is going to round out the franchise, with Rambo getting gussied up in cowboy attire to literally saddle up for one final adventure. Obviously, "last" points to that, but it's also worth noting that Rambo 5 carries an actual, meaningful subtitle that seems to provide further evidence of the fifth film being the final in the series.

Last Blood calls back to where the Rambo franchise began, as the first-ever entry was titled First Blood. The film series hasn't maintained even a semblance of consistency in its titles — the 1985 sequel was called Rambo: First Blood Part II, the three-quel was titled Rambo III, and the fourth film was just Rambo — so the fact that Rambo 5 has a legitimate name that offers symmetry to the first installment indicates that an impactful end is nigh for the grizzled Vietnam vet. 

Now, if Rambo: Last Blood rakes in hundreds of millions of dollars across the globe and ends up being a sweeping success with fans and critics, studio Lionsgate could revisit the franchise down the line, without Stallone's Rambo in tow. Stallone himself has expressed interest in making a Rambo prequel, even implying that he would get behind the camera to direct a younger actor as the character he's played since 1982.

If Lionsgate does eventually decide to keep the Rambo series going, a sans-Stallone-on-screen prequel would be the perfect way for the studio to continue exploring the character without having to pull a "just kidding!" on everyone and state that Rambo: Last Blood wasn't actually the final chapter. This is strictly hypothetical for now, but it may provide some solace to Rambo fans who are already panicking at the thought of saying goodbye to Stallone's character. 

Directed by Adrian Grunberg (Narcos, Sense8, Get the Gringo), Rambo: Last Blood sees Rambo leaving his life as a rancher after he learns that the cartel has taken the daughter of one of his friends. He joins Carmen Delgado on the mission into Mexico, but must battle his inner demons if he is to save the young girl's life. 

Rambo: Last Blood doesn't yet have a set debut date. The film is expected to be released sometime in 2019.