Rocky Balboa has been showing us the power of heart, perseverance and training montages since 1976’s Best Picture, Rocky. Last year’s Creed II, the eighth film in the Rocky saga, seemingly marked the cinematic end for Sylvester Stallone’s Italian Stallion after over 40 years. Now, after the final bell has rung at the end of the final round for film’s most famous pugilist, Sylvester Stallone is previewing a new documentary that looks back to the beginning. Take a look:
If you’re a fan of Rocky (and who isn’t), this sounds awesome. With Rocky’s cinematic journey now seemingly at an end, this documentary, 40 Years of Rocky: The Birth of a Classic, will give audiences the opportunity to look back on the film that started it all. It was an underdog in its own right with an unknown star, and it wound up launching a successful multi-decade franchise that defined Sylvester Stallone’s career.
Rather than look at the franchise as a whole, it appears that this documentary will really zero in on that original film and the alchemy that turned the underdog story into a true classic. What’s especially exciting is that, as Sly says in his Instagram post, this new documentary will feature behind-the-scenes footage from Rocky that has never been seen before.
That there is footage we haven’t seen before in the past four decades is really cool. That means that this documentary could give us new and even greater insight into a movie that we thought we knew pretty much everything there was to know about.
We’ll hear it all through Sly’s own voice too as he narrates the doc, so you’ll be hearing about this life-changing experience from the actor who lived it. The anecdote in the preview is endearing and classic Sly too, as he recalls being overwhelmed in the moment, but having his inner Rocky come through from the start.
40 Years of Rocky: The Birth of a Classic comes from documentary director Derek Wayne Johnson, who brings a wealth of experience and seemingly a lot of interest in tackling this subject. Derek Wayne Johnson wrote and directed the documentary John G. Avildsen: King of the Underdogs, about the Oscar-winning director of Rocky who also brought the world The Karate Kid and Lean on Me. He also wrote and directed the documentary Stallone: Frank, That Is, about Sylvester Stallone’s brother, Frank Stallone, and his less heralded, but still impressive career.
This isn’t the first documentary about the Rocky franchise. In 2011 there was a TV documentary movie called The Rocky Saga: Going the Distance, which covered the entire franchise to that point. Also, coinciding with the release of Creed in 2015, there was a one-hour documentary From Rocky to Creed: The Legacy Continues, narrated by Michael B. Jordan.
There was no release date or platform revealed for 40 Years of Rocky: The Birth of a Classic, but we’ll keep you updated. In the meantime check out our 2019 release schedule to see all the biggest movies headed your way this year.