Sylvester Stallone’s Rocky franchise is one of the actor’s most iconic. But following the most recent film in the story of Rocky Balboa, Creed II, the actor said he was officially hanging up the gloves when it comes to playing the boxing champ. In recent weeks it seems that plans for the next Creed movie have begun to move forward. And while it wouldn’t be the first time an actor went back to a role they’ve said they were done with, it seems that Stallone really is done But star and director Michael B. Jordan says that the man, and the character will never really be gone.
Speaking with IGN, Michael B. Jordan says that while Creed III will not include Rocky Balboa in a physical form, the character will still be felt spiritually as Rocky’s influence on Adonis Creed will never be forgotten. According to Jordan,
I think that Sly let it be known that he wasn’t coming back for this one but I think, you know, his essence and his spirit… there’s always going to be a little bit of Rocky within Adonis.
Between six Rocky movies and two Creed films it’s basically impossible to forget Sylvester Stallone in the franchise. While we may not know how Rocky will be written out of the series since he’s been Donis Creed’s trainer for two movies, it’s not like the new movie is just going to never mention Rocky again and pretend he never existed. Even if Creed ends up lasting six or more movies itself, Rocky will always be part of that in some way.
Having said that, Michael B. Jordan says that, ultimately, this franchise is supposed to be something independent of the Rocky movies, and if that’s the case, it needs to stand on its own without the support of the previous franchise, and that franchise’s star character. Jordan continued,
But this is a Creed franchise, and we really want to build this story and this world around him moving forward. So, it’s always respect and always a shit-ton of love for what he’s built, but we really want to push and navigate Adonis forward and the family that he created.
While the Creed franchise was certainly given a boost by including Sylvester Stallone, and both of the first two movies were very much designed for fans of the franchise, I’m sure I’m not the only one who wants to see the series continue in a fresh direction. We don’t need every entry to be reliant on a Rocky movie and the stories that can be told will have much more opportunity for creativity if that’s not expected. The series simply doesn’t need Rocky anymore; Adonis Creed should be enough of a draw for anybody. And seeing Michael B. Jordan direct the next entry certainly will give the next film a very fresh look and feel.