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It ain’t over till it’s over. Rocky Balboa may have hung up his gloves, but the world of boxing lives on. The upcoming Creed will see Sylvester Stallone’s iconic pugilist train Adonis Creed (Michael B. Jordan) – the son of Apollo Creed (Carl Weathers) from the original Rocky series. While the film looks like it will effectively chart unknown territories for the series, Stallone initially showed reluctance to sign on to the project.
In a recent interview with The Los Angeles Times, Stallone opened up on how he feels about the character, and his reticence to return to the role in the upcoming Creed:
I was dead set against it… I just didn't ever see taking this character into this realm. Finally my agent said, 'For a guy who played Rocky, you're kind of a chicken.
According to the article, this lack of desire to return stems not from his distaste for the role, but rather from his love for it. Stallone has very much experienced a career of ups and downs, but explains that the character of Rocky Balboa is the one thing he has done in his career that has proven to be a complete success in his eyes. Beyond that, the actor realizes that the character has become a cultural phenomenon, and not something that even truly belongs to him anymore. This realization allowed him to loosen up and allow Creed director Ryan Coogler (Fruitvale Station) to take the character in a previously unforeseen direction.
Eventually, the opportunity to turn Rocky into the type of mentor that Burgess Meredith’s Mick was for him seemed too fitting of an opportunity to pass up. Stallone went on further to explain how Rocky has always held a special place in his heart because it is a character that allows him to preach his own beliefs and values.
2007’s Rocky Balboa effectively ended the story for the character. That film featured numerous callbacks to other installments in the franchise, and tied up every relationship in Rocky’s life neatly – leaving him in a satisfied place. Creed seemingly works because it allows a fully realized and content Rocky to pass on the hard lessons he has learned over the last four decades to a younger generation of fighter. Check out the trailer for Creed below to see how the film shifts the focus and themes away from the Italian Stallion himself.
Only time will tell if the decision to take the spotlight off of Rocky will pay off when Creed hits theaters on November 25 of this year.