The excitement surrounding the first trailer for Creed III is palpable, but to fans of the wildly successful sports drama franchise, the absence of any sign of Sylvester Stallone reprising his iconic role as Rocky Balboa might just overshadow the hype.
After all, it marks the first time in the Rocky franchise’s continuity that Stallone will not be reprising his role, at least to the knowledge of fans. Some are quite upset with the revelation.
While others are taking the film’s bold move in stride, particularly given the events of Creed II wrapped up Balboa’s arc very neatly, and there was a quite clear passing of the torch from Rocky to Adonis. This fan sees parallels between the events of the film and the reality of Michael B. Jordan stepping up to direct the threequel.
Though the situation does beg a question as to whether or not there is any animosity between the stars, writers, and various minds behind the films – with the Coogler brothers penning the first Creed film, then Stallone stepping in to write the sequel, only to be ousted for the third entry.
The last time we heard any official thoughts from Stallone on his absence from the film was last year in a conversation he had with Metro UK:
“Well it’s different because actually I bowed out of that one, I just didn’t know if there was any part for me. It takes it in a different direction. I wish them well and keep punching!”
Michael B. Jordan, meanwhile, gave IGN his take in April last year about Stallone’s absence:
“I think that Sly let it be known that he wasn’t coming back for this one but I think, you know, his essence and his spirit. There’s always going to be a little bit of Rocky within Adonis. But this is a Creed franchise, and we really want to build this story and this world around him moving forward. So, it’s always respect and always a shit-ton of love for what he’s built, but we really want to push and navigate Adonis forward and the family that he created. So, hopefully, you guys will love what I’m thinking, what we’re cooking up. I think it’s going to be something special.”
Based on the most current information we have, it seems that Stallone and Rocky’s departure from any on-screen involvement in Creed III was amicable, with all parties involved wishing each other well and respecting the legacy of the Rocky franchise.
Though it sounds like Michael B. Jordan had a hell of a challenging time filming the next entry in the Creed franchise, the one surefire way we’ll know if Rocky ends up making an appearance in Creed III will be to go see for ourselves when it hits cinema screens on March 3, 2023.