During coronavirus quarantine, Sylvester Stallone has been editing a new director’s cut of Rocky IV, On his Instagram account, he’s been giving updates about his progress, and this weekend he said that “so far it looks great,” and claimed the cut will commemorate the film’s 35th anniversary. That’s on November 21 of this year, so if he finishes the edit on time, it’s not too far away.

This is all very welcome news for fans of Rocky Balboa, movies that are almost entirely made of training montages, and solving geopolitical conflicts through boxing matches. There’s just one problem: Stallone says he’s getting rid of Rocky IV’s greatest character, Paulie’s Robot.

Some backstory: In the film, Rocky’s buddy (and Adrian’s brother) Paulie celebrates a birthday. Flush with cash thanks to his successful boxing career, Rocky buys his pal an extravagant gift: An actual freaking robot.

In real life, the robot, named Sico, was built to work with autistic children. One of Stallone’s children is autistic, and he reached out to the robot’s creator Robert Doornick about seeing if his son could meet Sico. He liked the robot enough to put him in Rocky IV. Later, Paulie’s Robot even got an action figure.

Not anymore. If you look at the comments on the Instagram post above, you’ll see several fans asking about Paulie’s robot. When one asks Stallone not to cut the robot, Sly responds “I don’t like the robot anymore,” then tells another “The robot is going to the junkyard forever.”

This is madness. If anything a director’s cut of Rocky IV should include more of the robot, not less. Where did the robot come from? What did Paulie do with it? What is he up to during the 14 training montages while Rocky prepares to fight Ivan Drago? The fans need to know.

Removing Paulie’s Robot is particularly upsetting because there were additional scenes with him that were previously left on the cutting room floor. In one interview Doornick describes a scene that was cut where “Paulie and the robot had developed an odd couple relationship, with the robot complaining that Paulie always slept in the same t-shirt and made too much cigar smoke. The robot ‘found it offensive to [his] sensors.’” so then Paulie messes with the robot’s circuits and changes it from male to female “Most people in the movie don’t understand why the robot switched from a normal voice to a female voice,” Doornick said. “That’s why.”

Not to disrespect the original author’s vision, but we need to see this crucial element of Sico’s story. That’s why today I‘m calling on Sylvester Stallone to #ReleaseThePauliesRobotCut. Nothing less will do.

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