Sylvester Stallone is the king of sequels and franchises, having been involved as either star, writer, director or producer on close to 30 movies built out from a successful opening chapter. That’s incredible when you think about it, but also not so surprising when you consider that Rocky Balboa, John Rambo and Barney Ross account for sixteen of them.
Sly famously said well over three decades ago that Rocky IV would be pushing things a little too far, before going on to make a fifth installment in 1990. Just when it looked like the Italian Stallion was in retirement for good, he dusted off the gloves ‘one last time’ sixteen years later for Rocky Balboa, looking to send the iconic character out on a much higher note.
Proving that it really ain’t over until it’s over, Stallone came back again for Ryan Coogler’s spinoff Creed, moving Rocky into a supporting role as the mentor and father figure to Michael B. Jordan’s Adonis. Most people were skeptical about the project at first, but ended up eating their words when the finished product delivered one of the best Hollywood sports dramas in years, with the veteran star becoming one of just a very few names in history to have received two Academy Award nominations for playing the same character, and they came a massive 39 years apart.
Creed II was about as solid a sequel as anyone could have hoped for, even if a little bit of the magic had worn off. Stallone isn’t involved in the third installment, but the first two are currently putting in a strong showing on Netflix, currently residing in seventeenth and 23rd place on the most-watched list.