Following the news last week that Sylvester Stallone’s iconic Rocky character would not be appearing in “Creed 3,” director and star Michael B. Jordan has directly addressed the matter in an interview for the first time.
Previously, a representative for Stallone confirmed to The Hollywood Reporter that the famed pugilist would not be ringside for the third installment of the franchise. Rocky Balboa has previously served as the mentor to Adonis Creed (Michael B. Jordan), the son of former foe-turned-friend Apollo Creed (Carl Weathers). Back in May 2020, Sly casually mentioned the news during an Instagram Live session, though the announcement mostly went under the radar.
Now, however, from various reps to Stallone to Jordan himself, word that the franchise is moving on from Rocky is written in stone.
“Yeah, 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,” Jordan said. “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 [expletive]-ton of love for what he’s built, but we really want to push and navigate Adonis forward and the family that he created. So, hopefully you guys will love what I’m thinking … what we’re cooking up. I think it’s going to be something special.”
Jordan made the remarks during an interview with IGN’s Jim Vejvoda while promoting his forthcoming film “Tom Clancy’s Without Remorse,” due to hit Amazon Prime on April 30. Curiously, the article has since been removed from IGN’s website. However, a duplicate article still remains live on IGN India elaborating on the situation while including the quote.
All told, Stallone has taken on the role of Rocky in eight different films spanning some four decades. He directed four of the films while serving as a writer or co-writer on all the Rocky films in addition to “Creed II.”
Whether there is any bad blood between Stallone and Jordan behind the scenes is left to be seen. Jordan’s latest remarks remain evasive, parrying any specific problems that may exist. Regardless, Jordan rightfully has enough agency in the matter to move both his character and franchise beyond the lingering legacy of Rocky, making it entirely his own.
“Creed 3” is expected to begin filming later this year with a planned release around Thanksgiving 2022.