Sylvester Stallone appeared to say goodbye forever to his Rocky Balboa character in an Instagram video posted on Wednesday.
“Well, this is probably my last rodeo because what I thought happened, and has happened, I never expected. I thought Rocky was over in 2006 [Rocky Balboa]. And I was very happy with that,” the three-time Oscar nominee tells the cast and crew of Creed II on the last day of shooting.
Speaking of Creed star Michael B. Jordan, Stallone adds, “Then all of a sudden this young man presented himself and the whole story changed. It went on to a new generation. New problems. New adventures.”
“And I couldn’t be happier as I step back because my story has been told, there’s a whole new world that’s going to be opening up with the audience, with this generation.”
Speaking to Jordan, Stallone says, “Now you, have to carry the mantle.”
View this post on Instagram
I am reposting this because there was a technical difficulty. I just want to thank everyone around the whole wide World for taking the Rocky family into their hearts for over 40 years. It’s been my Ultimate privilege to have been able to create and play this meaningful character. Though it breaks my heart, Sadly all things must pass… and end. I love you Kind and generous people , and The most wonderful thing of all , is that ROCKY will never die because he lives on in you ….
In his Instagram post, Stallone, who has played Rocky Balboa in eight films between 1976 and 2018, wrote, “I just want to thank everyone around the whole wide world for taking the Rocky family into their hearts for over 40 years. It’s been my ultimate privilege to have been able to create and play this meaningful character.”
“Sadly all things must pass…and end. Keep punching, I love you kind and generous people, and Rocky loves you, too,” he added.
The Rocky franchise has earned Stallone three Academy Award nominations. In 1977, for the first Rocky film, he was nominated for Best Actor and Screenplay. Almost 40 years later, he was nominated for his supporting work in Creed.
Of the eight films, which have grossed a combined $1.4 billion, Stallone has sole screenplay credit for the first six and a co-writer credit for Creed II, which just broke the Thanksgiving weekend box office record for a non-animated film. Stallone also directed Rocky II, III, IV, and Rocky Balboa.
On top of the Rocky franchise, Stallone has the Rambo series, whose fifth chapter arrives next year. There is also talk of a fourth Expendables film, a franchise the 72-year-old launched in 2010 at age 64.
Stallone is a very healthy senior citizen, Creed II is already a smash, America has been in love with Rocky Balboa through five decades, three wars and eight presidents. Rocky looked pretty doomed after Rocky V flopped in 1990 and Rocky Balboa tied everything up beautifully.
Don’t be surprised, then, if there is more of Rocky’s story left to tell.
Michael B. Jordan’s Adonis Creed might be the star of the last two chapters, but Rocky Balboa is the heart, soul, and draw. Jordan is a fantastic actor and a star in his own right, but a Rocky movie without Rocky …?
Here is my review of Creed II.