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One of the more surprisingly enjoyable films to hit theaters in recent months had to be Ryan Coogler’s rebootquel of the Rocky franchise: Creed. Centering on Adonis Creed (Michael B. Jordan) – the son of deceased boxing Champion Apollo Creed – the film follows the up and comer as he enlists the help of Rocky Balboa (Sylvester Stallone) in order to follow in his father’s footsteps. The film has proved itself as a critical and commercial success, but according to a recent interview, Stallone originally didn’t want the film to play out as it does on screen.
Speaking with Deadline, Stallone explained that it was his wife who ultimately convinced him to play Balboa the way we see him in Creed:
I said to my wife, ‘Maybe I can rewrite the story to where Rocky’s neighbor is sick, and Rocky helps take care of his neighbor. Or maybe Paulie is battling disease, and I can take his…’ She stopped me and she says, ‘No, no, no, no, that’s the whole point. If you really do want to go someplace that you haven’t gone maybe ever, then test yourself and see what you’re made of. This is it. This is what people go through, every day. This is not about vanity. This is not about masculinity. It’s just about the soul, and you’re a coward if you don’t do it, or if you find a cowardly way to do it.’
Stallone has made his initial reluctance to do Creed incredible apparent. Only a few months ago he admitted that one of the primary reasons he took the role in the first place is that his agent called him a "chicken." This new interview seems to indicate that Sylvester Stallone wanted to keep the spotlight on Rocky, or at the very least make Rocky the one who insists that the film’s characters keep on fighting. As those of you who have seen the film already know, it’s really Adonis Creed who reminds Balboa of the need to fight in Creed, rather than Stallone’s initial idea. Based upon everything he has said about the film up until this point, it's patently obvious that even this far into his career Stallone will go out of his way to challenge himself and try new things, even if it takes a little goading.
It’s difficult to say which idea ultimately would have been better, because Creed truly does show Rocky Balboa as we have never really seen him before, but the gamble seems to have paid off for Stallone. Rather than once again donning the gloves and entering the ring, Creed gives the actor an opportunity to flex his more somber, quieter muscles. His turn as the retired boxer has even garnered him a Golden Globe nomination with Oscar buzz in the air. If he wins, we think Stallone will probably owe his wife big-time for her advice.