The world of Rocky Balboa will continue in the upcoming film “Creed III,” but at least this time around, Sylvester Stallone won’t be a part of it. The latest film in the extended “Rocky” franchise is set to hit theaters in 2022, but it has now been confirmed that Sly will not be reprising the role of Rocky he created in 1976.
Back in March, we discussed how Michael B. Jordan would be directing “Creed III,” in addition to starring in it, and serving as an executive producer. In that article, we reported that no mention was made by Jordan or MGM regarding Stallone himself. Well, now we know why. Even though the lack of mentioning Stallone wasn’t a sure sign that he wouldn’t be involved in the movie, it could easily raise eyebrows.
According to a story by The Hollywood Reporter, Stallone’s representative confirmed to the publication that the actor would not be appearing in “Creed III.” No further details were given beyond that, which, with the internet being the internet, will surely lead to speculation about what this means for the character of Rocky. After all, this is a series that’s no stranger to onscreen and offscreen character death.
Spoiler alerts incoming from the entirety of the “Rocky” series here:
Rocky’s trainer Mickey dies in “Rocky III” from heart failure, Apollo Creed dies in “Rocky IV” from injuries sustained by fighting Ivan Drago, and Rocky’s wife Adrian dies from cancer between the events of “Rocky V” and “Rocky Balboa.” Rocky himself isn’t exactly in the best of health either. In “Rocky V” we learn he has some pretty severe brain trauma from boxing and a major plot point of “Creed” is that Rocky has Non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma. So is it possible that the Italian Stallion could have died after the events of “Creed II?” Yeah, it’s possible.
It could also be the case that Stallone was just too busy to appear this time around. As of the time of this writing, Stallone posted on Instagram that he’s completed his director’s cut of “Rocky IV” in addition to a previous post showing script ideas for a “Rocky” prequel television series.
Again, all of this is mere speculation as to what could be Rocky’s ultimate fate. Clearly Stallone hasn’t “thrown in the towel” so to say with his beloved franchise, but maybe we’ve reached the end of an era all the same? We remain excited to see how Michael B. Jordon handles his directorial debut with “Creed III,” and to see what else Stallone has cooked up for Rocky’s character.
“Creed III” is currently scheduled to hit theaters on November 23rd, 2022.