Why Sylvester Stallone Once Said That Rocky IV Would Never Happen


If you include movies where he’s reprised his own roles, as well as the times he’s dropped by other people’s properties, then Sylvester Stallone has appeared in no less than nineteen sequels throughout his career, with his upcoming turn as King Shark in James Gunn’s The Suicide Squad bringing it up to an even 20. Obviously, a lot of that involves the Rocky franchise, with the actor playing the Italian Stallion on eight occasions, although he’ll be sitting out Michael B. Jordan’s directorial debut Creed III as Adonis looks to stand on his own two feet.

An interview from the late 1970s has recently resurfaced, and during the promotional circuit for Rocky II, Sly talked about his plans for a third installment while saying there’d never be a fourth one, because “you gotta call a halt.” Obviously, that’s pretty ironic when you consider that not only is Rocky IV the highest-grossing entry in the entire franchise after earning over $300 million at the box office, but it also reigned as the most commercially successful sports film in history for almost 25 years, is widely lauded by fans as the most purely entertaining outing for the titular pugilist, and a Director’s Cut is coming later this year.

To further ladle it on, Stallone would then return for Rocky V before retiring the character, only to be lured out of hibernation by 2006’s so-called swansong Rocky Balboa, before he came back twice more in Creed and its sequel, nabbing an Academy Award nomination in the Best Supporting Actor category for the former.

The point is, when Sylvester Stallone says he’s not planning on following up his onscreen efforts, you’d best not take him at his word.