Cobra is a 1986 American action film directed by George P. Cosmatos and written by Sylvester Stallone, who also starred in the title role. The film co-stars Reni Santoni, Brigitte Nielsen and Andrew Robinson. It is the first film where Brian Thompson plays a prominent role. The film was loosely based on the novel Fair Game by Paula Gosling, which was later filmed under that title in 1995. However, Stallone's screenplay was originally conceived from ideas he had during pre-production of Beverly Hills Cop, whose screenplay he heavily revised. He had wanted to make Beverly Hills Cop a less comedic and more action-oriented film, which the studio rejected as being far too expensive. When he left that project, Eddie Murphy was brought in to play the lead role.
An armed gunman causes a hostage crisis at a Los Angeles supermarket. When negotiations between him and law enforcement fail, the LAPD summons Lieutenant Marion Cobretti (Stallone), a member of its elite division known as the "Zombie Squad". Cobretti, known by the codename "Cobra", infiltrates the store, locates, and negotiates with the gunman, who threatens him by speaking of a vague and unknown organization known as "The New World", a supremacist group of social darwinist radicals that despise modern society and believe in killing the weak, leaving only the strongest and smartest to rule the world. Cobretti then kills the gunman by throwing a knife at his abdomen and firing shots at him.