Stallone explains why he’s not in Creed III

Stallone Creed

When it was revealed that Sylvester Stallone would not be reprising his role as Rocky Balboa for Creed III, the news was an uppercut to many fans. Stallone has played Rocky Balboa eight times–six for the original Rocky series and twice in the Creed spinoff series–but his departure from the franchise is a major loss. So why exactly won’t the Italian Stallion turn up for the bout?

It comes down to producer Irwin Winkler. As the now famous story goes, Stallone has been in a feud with Winkler for quite some time, stemming from the producer snatching up the rights to Rocky after Stallone didn’t stake his claim on the copyright. Some speculated that it had to do with a paycheck, but Stallone has made it clear he would like to have the franchise so he can pass in on to his family. “I wrote it. I thought it would be nice to say, ‘Here’s the gesture darling here. Beautiful children, beautiful wife. When I’m long gone, this is you. This is what I made for you.”

Stallone has previously slammed Winkler for holding the rights and planning an Ivan Drago spinoff, saying he was “once again picking clean THE BONES of another wonderful character I created without even telling me.”

It was revealed back in April 2021 that Rocky Balboa would be sitting out this round. On the topic of Stallone’s absence in Creed III, Michael B. Jordan explained that it was time to truly focus on Adonis Creed. “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.”

Stallone will still serve as a producer, as Creed III is partly produced by his Balboa Productions.

Creed III is set for a March 3rd, 2023 release.

What do you think about Sylvester Stallone and Rocky Balboa being absent from Creed III? Should the rights go back to Stallone? Let us know your take on the situation below.

Source: Men's Health

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Mathew is an East Coast-based writer and film aficionado who has been working with periodically since 2006. When he’s not writing, you can find him on Letterboxd or at a local brewery. If he had the time, he would host the most exhaustive The Wonder Years rewatch podcast in the universe.