In 2002, Rocky’s director John G. Avildsen released a work-print version of his vision for Rocky V online, under the title “Rocky V: Director’s Cut”.
In Avildsen’s version, the opening credits are different to what is seen in the theatrical release of Rocky 5, including a different musical score. The Director’s Cut leans heavily on the beloved Bill Conti musical cues rather than the now somewhat dated rap and hip-hop heard in the official release.
Several scenes in this version have been edited differently, including the use of alternate different dialogue.
There are also a number of deleted scenes in the movie, including a scene of Rocky getting drunk at Andy’s Bar before stumbling across the street to the abandoned Mighty Mick’s Gym, and a scene in which Rocky bumps into Little Marie, all grown up, only to find that she never did heed his advice and has become a homeless prostitute.
The cut also features a much-needed romantic scene between Rocky and Adrian which takes place in their bedroom, and a touching moment in which Rocky reassures young Robert that he isn’t seriously ill.
Rocky’s street fight with Tommy Gunn is also re-cut in this version, featuring more Conti music and Rocky’s hallucination of Mickey. Contrary to some rumors, the workprint version does not end with Rocky dying in Adrian’s arms at the hands of Tommy Gunn, which was the original intention for the Rocky V script.
Decent quality versions of the Director’s Cut are extremely hard to come by, and it was never officially released by MGM.
A bootleg workprint version of this cut is available (in terrible quality) on YouTube, at least – but now, a petition has been placed on the White House’s website to ask MGM to release the Avildsen Director’s Cut of Rocky V for all fans.
The petition requires at least 100,000 online signatures by July 17, 2015 in order to move forward.