Rambo reboot pitchman Eli Richbourg, 42, died in Paris of a brain aneurysm on Wednesday night, according to Deadline.
Richbourg was a frequent collaborator of Joel Schumacher’s as well as a writer and producer. His most recent claim to fame was that Millennium had hired him for the Rambo reboot based on an undisclosed pitch he sold to the company.
Deadline, citing a report from Richbourg’s representatives, noted the Vermont native had spent “nearly 20 years working at Schumacher’s side,” adding that he served “in positions varying from Executive Producer to Writer to Second Unit Director on a total of 13 Schumacher films.”
Richbourg got his start in the art department on Batman Forever, but was hired as Schumacher’s assistant shortly thereafter.
Other early credits included second unit director on 8MM and Tigerland, and associate producer on Flawless, Bad Company, Phone Booth, and Veronica Guerin.
Richbourg also executive produced Blood Creek and The Number 23 and in 2009, was hired as vice-president of film development at Ubisoft in an effort to bring games like Assassin’s Creed and Splinter Cell to the big screen.
As for the Rambo reboot, it appeared that Millennium was fully back behind the project thanks to Richbourg.
In a February 2013 report from MovieHole from the Berlin Film Festival, a UK correspondent for the website said the production company had resurrected posters depicting series star Sylvester Stallone in the role with the Rambo V tag printed across the bottom.
These were slightly tweaked variations that the company had promoted in 2010, but at that time, Stallone had revealed to Ain’t It Cool Newshe did not plan to revisit the character.
Stallone told AICN that “the folks behind those posters” said if he didn’t do it someone else would. “And [Stallone] seems fine with that,” the report stated.
Considering the obituary notice from Richbourg’s representatives at Principato-Young referred to Richbourg’s take as a reboot, it is unlikely Stallone would have returned. And with Richbourg gone, the uncertainty will likely continue.
Which of Richbourg’s films were your favorite? Would you still like to see Millennium push forward with the Rambo reboot?