Bad news, Rocky fans. It appears that Sylvester Stallone won’t be returning to one of his most iconic roles in Creed 3. The good news, though, is that the actor is confident the film will indeed be made.
There you have it, folks. Sylvester Stallone seems to be done with Rocky. At least for now. Who knows how or when the character will show up in the future? We don’t know yet, but we do know he won’t be training or mentoring Adonis Creed anytime soon.
It will be fascinating to see how Creed 3 manages to tell a great story without Sylvester Stallone. Sure, this isn’t technically his story, but Stallone turned in one of his very best performances in the first Creed, with his return in its sequel not too far behind in quality. In fact, his show-stopping performance in Creed was so great that it earned him a nomination for Best Supporting Actor at the 2016 Academy Awards. He ended up losing the award to Mark Rylance for Bridge of Spies, but the fact that he was nominated just speaks to the weight and wisdom he brought-and continues to bring- to one of his best, most memorable roles.
Sylvester Stallone launched Rocky into the spotlight with 1976’s astounding Rocky. From there, the film spawned five direct sequels and eventually spun-off into the Creed movies, which chronicle the rise of Apollo Creed’s gifted but conflicted son, Adonis. The franchise is massively successful and continues to be part of countless film-related conversations happening at any given time. And that definitely will not stop anytime soon.
Black Panther helmer Ryan Coogler directed both Sylvester Stallone and Michael B. Jordan in the first Creed before handing the reins to Steven Caple Jr. for Creed II. Stallone helped out with the portions of the script that included Rocky, which is probably why those scenes were so good. Sascha Penn and Cheo Hodari Coker wrote the story for Creed II. He knows this character. He has played him off and on for over 40 years, so he is going to have the strongest grasp on how he fits into Creed‘s overarching narrative. And that is why his absence from Creed 3 will almost certainly be felt. Honestly, I hope the movie works without him. Michael B. Jordan is a fantastic actor and can absolutely carry these films on its own, but it could still very easily go either way.
Creed 3 is currently scheduled for release on November 23, 2022, which means we likely will not hear much more about it for a bit. The film seems pretty safe from potential pandemic-related delays, so we don’t really have to worry about that too much. And even though Sylvester Stallone won’t be in it, it will probably still be worth a watch. It will just feel different and maybe even a bit empty.