The thought of a Rocky movie without Sylvester Stallone seems almost impossible, given that the actor has become synonymous with the character who turned him from a virtual unknown into an A-list star. It’s been 45 years since the Italian Stallion first graced our screens, with Sly going on to reprise the role in five direct sequels and the two Creed spinoffs.
Michael B. Jordan may have been the lead of the last two installments, but Stallone has been integral to the formula that saw Creed and its follow-up become critical and commercial smash hits. The aging action icon even scooped an Academy Award nomination for Best Supporting Actor for his return as Adonis’ trainer, making him one of just six names to have ever landed two Oscar nods for playing the same role twice, and the 39 year-gap between them is comfortably the longest wait.
Creed III is penciled in for release in November of next year, and sees Jordan making his directorial debut working with a script written by Zach Baylin and Keenan Coogler, from a story outline by the latter’s brother Ryan, who of course helmed the first outing. However, Stallone revealed in a recent social media exchange with a fan that he’s not involved in the project, which comes as a major surprise.
The fan in question clearly hasn’t been keeping up to date with Creed III‘s development process after asking Stallone if a third installment was happening, to which he replied that it was, but he’s not in it. While Jordan is a good enough actor and big enough name to headline the sports drama without his veteran co-star, it’s still going to be strange seeing a Rocky movie without the man himself making his presence felt.