Stallone's son dies while dad's at Comic-Con
Aspiring actor and filmmaker Sage Stallone was found dead yesterday at his home in Hollywood, while his dad Sylvester Stallone was busy promoting his upcoming movie The Expendables 2 at Comic-Con in San Diego.
Cops and a lawyer for Sage, 36, the younger of two sons from Sly's first marriage, gave conflicting accounts of how he was found, but LA police said there was no sign of forced entry or foul play. They said they found Sage's body while responding to a call asking authorities to check on his well-being.
Attorney George Braunstein said Sage was found by a housekeeper. "There was some concern that his family and friends hadn't heard from him in the past day, and that's why the housekeeper went over there and opened up the house," he said. "It's a tragedy. He was a young, talented, extremely good filmmaker and a lovely person."
Sage had appeared in a number of movies, most notably with Sly in 1990's Rocky V, playing Rocky Balboa Jr, and in the 1996 disaster movie Daylight, in which Sly starred as a hero leading an escape from a New York tunnel collapse and Sage played a prison inmate.
A statement issued by Sly's publicist said: "Sylvester is devastated and grief-stricken over the sudden loss of his son. His compassion and thoughts are with Sage's mother, Sasha Czack. Sage was a very talented and wonderful young man. His loss will be felt forever."
Neither police nor Braunstein had any specifics about the circumstances of the death. "We don't know any of the details but it must have been some sort of tragic accident. He was full of life and working on projects," Braunstein said. "He wasn't at all depressed or anything like that."
Sly was hanging out with Arnold Schwarzenegger and thrilling crowds at Comic-Con, screening some advance footage from their movie The Expendables 2, when the incident happened.
The movie, a sequel to 2010's surprise hit about a group of rebel mercenaries out to kill a brutal military leader, appeared similar to the first one in the clip, with an emphasis on old-school shootouts over sci-fi fantasy.
Sly, 66, introduced Arnie, 64, the former governor of California, to the Comic-Con crowd as "one of my fellow brothers in the hard art business ... a true one-of-a-kind movie star, the likes of whom we'll never see again".
The Expendables hit theatres in 2010 with a tale of aging mercenaries on a new assignment and was positioned as a return to classic 1980s action and adventure. The movie was loaded with older action stars such as Bruce Willis and Jean-Claude Van Damme, and the formula worked well as the movie blasted its way to US$275 million at worldwide box offices.
For the sequel, in theatres on August 17, Sly and Arnie reunite with Bruce, Jean-Claude, Chuck Norris, Jet-Li and Jason Statham.
"The first one was more searching for what was going to work. Is it more dramatic, comedic? But on the second one, you find out what works from the first one and you try to amplify it," Sly told the Comic-Con crowd. "You have the same playbook ... if you have it all together, the second one can surpass the first one and I think we achieved that."
For the sequel, Hollywood's old action heroes set out on another dangerous assignment where Sly said the Expendables were pushed to the extreme. Movie clips showed them in explosive situations, slick fight scenes and trading tough-guy comments with each other.
Sly said recent Hollywood heroes were "a different kind of action star, more futuristic, scientific, technical. (They) don't have to spend their life pumping iron." He added that the newer heroes were still valid for their age group, as "each generation has to create their own heroes and each generation redefines the heroes they like to adore".
Much of the audience was filled with fans who have grown up idolising the old-school heroes, and Sly and Arnie thanked them for their loyalty and dedication. Following the panel, Arnie was given an award from Comic-Con for his contributions and achievements to the film arts and pop culture.
Published: 14th July 2012