With Creed II destroying the box office, opening to $55 mil for the largest Thanksgiving weekend ever for a live-action film, you’d think this would be the beginning of another lucrative chapter for Rocky Balboa. Not so, according to Sylvester Stallone.
While the motto for the franchise has always been “It ain’t over till it’s over,” Stallone says, in fact, it is. This morning, he waved farewell to the role on Instagram with a touching, behind-the-scenes video from the Creed II set in which he states:
“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. Then all of a sudden this young man presented himself [Ryan Coogler] 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. Now you [pointing to Michael B. Jordan], have to carry the mantle.”
Stallone reiterated these thoughts in his caption, which reads:
“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 ….”
Of course, nothing is really over in this era of franchise filmmaking, so don’t be surprised if MGM comes crashing through his door with loads of money and reminders of that 2016 Oscar nomination. Though, without spoiling too much, Creed II does feel like the final chapter for ol’ Rocks, and makes it quite clear that this is Jordan’s time to shine.
The retirement also fits Stallone’s current narrative. Similar to Harrison Ford with Star Wars and Blade Runner, Stallone appears to be enjoying victory laps with his most iconic roles. Right now, he’s out filming Rambo: Last Blood, which will likely be the final bloodbath involving John Rambo. If so, it’s been a hell of a run for both the boxer and the veteran.