'Rocky V' director plans a more serious fight movie

November 28, 1990|By Los Angeles Times

HOLLYWOOD -- Hot on the heels of his "Rocky V," director John Avildsen is preparing to jump back into the ring. But this time, heavy themes accompany the heavy punches. The central character of "The Power of One" lives in South Africa, circa 1950, when the country is in transition from an English colony to an Afrikaner state.

"The story takes place as the curtain of apartheid is descending," says screenwriter Robert Mark Kamen, who previously teamed with director Avildsen for the three "Karate Kid" titles. "Quite against his will, our character finds himself caught up in a collision of cultures."

Of English descent, the white teen-age welterweight defies convention by living and working in a black township, aligning himself with a young Zulu fighter -- and romancing a young Afrikaner girl, whose father is one of the architects of apartheid.

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