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Sylvester Stallone will not be reprising his role in “Creed III.” Set to release on March 3, 2023, Stallone, who began playing “Rocky” in 1976, said in a recent interview with The Hollywood Reporter (THR) that he doesn’t like the franchise’s direction, so he opted out.
In June, the actor, who is also a producer on the film, explained that he simply “bowed out.” Stallone explained, “I just didn’t know if there was any part for me.”
“I’m the only one left out,” the Rocky star said
Since 2015, Jordan has portrayed Adonis Johnson, the prodigy son of Rocky Balboa’s (Sylvester Stallone) rival Apollo Creed (Carl Weathers).
“That’s a regretful situation because I know what it could have been. It was taken in a direction that is quite different than I would’ve taken it,” Stallone told the publication. It’s a different philosophy – Irwin Winkler’s and Michael B. Jordan’s. I wish them well, but I’m much more of a sentimentalist. I like my heroes getting beat up, but I just don’t want them going into that dark space. I just feel people have enough darkness.”
Creed 3 trailer looks like it will be just fine without Balboa
While his creative direction may have been embraced in 1976, today, he lacks the self-awareness to realize the film franchise is no longer his — it’s Michael B. Jordan’s. In fact, Jordan will be making his directorial debut and starring in the trilogy, placing his thumbprint on the film entirely.
Creed is not Rocky. And Rocky is not Creed. The characters represent two different men with two very different upbringings, realities, and motivations. Consider their other films, Stallone could’ve never played in Fruitvale Station (for obvious reasons) and Michael B. Jordan as Rambo? Stop it.
In the third installation of Creed, Stallone’s role should be understandably diminished and creative influence lessened so the next generation can make their mark, telling their own stories.
Though Rocky could take punch after punch in the ring, Stallone’s easily bruised ego proves much more fragile as it slowly sinks in he is no longer needed to make a blockbuster movie. If he wants to make the umpteenth Expendables, he can do that on his own time, but Creed 3 will not be compromised by the bitter actor desperate to tell a story that apparently no one wants to see.