Say it ain’t so, Sly!
Sylvester Stallone, the acting heavyweight behind the famed Rocky franchise, has announced that he will not be appearing in the upcoming Rocky spin-off sequel Creed III, according to our punchy pugilists over at the boxing ring known as The Hollywood Reporter.
The actor who gave life to the Rocky universe in a grand total of eight films confirmed via his publicist that he would be retiring the Italian Stallion and would not be appearing in the film Creed III. The original Rocky franchise ran from 1976 through 2006 before splintering off into the spin-off Creed which followed the ailing and retired boxer as he mentored and trained the son of his legendary opponent Apollo Creed. The series of films began with a knock-out of epic proportions: it won Best Picture of 1976 at the Oscars – apt for a story about a sweet underdog – and nabbed Stallone a Buster Douglas-outta nowhere nomination from the Academy for 2015 as Best Supporting Actor for Creed where he mined new depths of emotion from the long in the tooth character. Stallone’s successor in interest, actor Michael B. Jordan who stars as the titular Creed (Adonis to his friends), will be directing Creed III (paralleling Stallone’s own direction of Rocky III back in 1982).
For many fans, Sylvester Stallone is an integral part of the Creed franchise, his character’s involvement with Adonis Creed having a Burgess Meredith quality to it (Meredith famously played Rocky Balboa’s crusty trainer with a heart of gold in the first three movies). Meredith’s character of Mickey, at least, got a proper sendoff in the opening scenes of Rocky III, a gift that seems will be denied Stallone (end of annoying editorial – GRRR!)…
All is not gloom and doom in the land of fictional boxing though, ladies and gents: Michael B. Jordan is beyond an excellent actor, so there’s that in Creed III’s favor…Also, if you prefer your Rocky universe in the classic sense, be of good cheer: Stallone recently announced that his director’s cut for Rocky IV is ready for roll-out: “I’m feeling great about this,” the actor stated, explaining that, though he missed his original November 2020 deadline to release the new version of the fourth film, the new edit is now complete with a release date announcement forthcoming.
So good news/bad news; see what I did there? Remember campers, the glass is always half full if you perceive it to be.
Creed III will be hitting theaters – and faces, we presume – November 23, 2022.