With the success of the ongoing Creed franchise, Sylvester Stallone has proven there’s still an appetite for Rocky spin-offs. After appearing in no less than eight movies as the titular boxing superstar, Stallone could be forgiven for wanting to pursue other projects. However, after a succession of tantalizing interviews and statements, it seems like there is still plenty of potential left in the story.
The popular franchise began in 1976, with the critically and commercially acclaimed Rocky. Despite being made for a paltry budget of just over $1 million, the movie shattered all expectations, grossing over $200 million at the box office and netting Stallone Academy Award nominations for both Best Actor and Best Original Screenplay. Further entries in the series, including 2015’s Creed, have been met with similar acclaim, cementing the Rocky saga’s legacy as one of the all-time great sports movie franchises.
After the successful release of Creed 2 in 2018, speculation has been rife over what the future may hold for the series. However, despite Creed 3’s ongoing development and prospective November 2022 release date, fans have been left in the dark over the future of Stallone’s character. In fact, the actor has confirmed that he will not be appearing in the follow-up, fueling conjecture over where Rocky might go next.
Sylvester Stallone Michael B Jordan Creed Rocky
Stallone’s absence from Creed 3 might suggest that he’s done with the franchise. However, he has also confirmed his interest in reprising his mentor role in a future Rocky installment, explicitly revealing that he would like the character to mentor an illegal immigrant fighter. In a detailed Q&A at the Cannes Film Festival in 2019 (via The Guardian), for instance, Stallone enthusiastically declared: “I have a great idea for Rocky. He finds this fella who’s in the country illegally and it becomes a whole thing. It would be really phenomenal, really different.”
On the surface, this seems like pretty compelling evidence that Stallone is not planning on fully retiring quite yet. However, it’s important to take this statement with a grain of salt. Beyond the mooted immigrant plot, Stallone has also used social media to hint at a Rocky prequel series, writing on Instagram in March 2021: “I started out this morning by writing a treatment for a Rocky prequel For streaming. Ideally 10 episodes for a few seasons to really get to the heart of the Characters in there [sic.] younger years.”
Given the wealth of information and theories swirling about Stallone’s future involvement in the series, it’s difficult to say with any certainty whether his Rocky spin-off will actually happen. What is clear from Stallone’s statements, however, is that he remains just as passionate about the character as ever, despite his forthcoming absence from Creed 3. With this creative commitment and interest in future projects, it seems unlikely that fans have seen the last of Rocky Balboa in some form or other.