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Stallone Says ‘Creed III’ Is ‘Different’ From What He Would Have Made

Creed III can be a masterpiece. It may be a flop. Either way, it will mark a turning point in the franchise: the first film in the rocky/belief series without an appearance by Sylvester Stallone, the man who created Rocky Balboa, wrote or co-wrote nearly every previous film, and played the character for over 40 years. Rocky may be referenced in the film – his name is mentioned in its trailer – but Stallone himself is not.

This news comes as Stallone himself has publicly expressed his frustration with the franchise; not so much with Creed III but with the fact that he, as the creator and lead writer and star of the franchise (so far), doesn’t actually own any part of it. At some point, Stallone gave away the rights to the material, which is now controlled by the show’s producers, who have the legal right to do more Rocky and Creed movies without Stallone. In an Instagram post in July, Stallone wrote, “”I would really like [to] have at least a little WHAT’S REMAINING of my RIGHTS, before passing it ONLY to YOUR CHILDREN – I believe that would be a RIGHT gesture.

In a new interview with The Hollywood Reporter related to his television series king of tulsa, Stallone addressed the conflict and noted that any kind of resolution “is never going to happen.” He also called Creed III an “unfortunate situation” because he knows “what could have been” – and now probably won’t be because Rocky isn’t a character in it.

He added…

It was taken in quite a different direction than I would have taken it. It’s a different philosophy – that of Irwin Winkler and Michael B. Jordan. I wish them good luck, but I’m much more sentimental. I like my heroes getting beat up, but I just don’t want them going into this dark space. I just think people have enough darkness.

The premise of Creed III finds Michael B. Jordan’s Adonis Creed confronting a man from his past, played by Jonathan Majors, who has gone to prison for years, supposedly on behalf of Adonis. This sets up – what else? – a major boxing match between the two.

Stallone would know better than we how light or dark Creed III is, but the Rocky the films themselves certainly had a lot of darkness. Granted, Rocky himself usually got the win by the end of the movie (but not always). But over the years, Rocky lost his trainer Mickey, his wife Adrian and his career after being diagnosed with traumatic brain injury from too many fights. It wasn’t always sunshine and rainbows for the Italian stallion. Guess we’ll have to see what the movie will look like when it comes out. Creed III is set to open in theaters — without Stallone or Rocky — on March 3, 2023.

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