Sylvester Stallone, most notable for his early action roles as well as his iconic character of Rocky Balboa, will not be reprising Balboa in the upcoming Creed III, The Hollywood Reporter has confirmed.
The 74-year old actor previously reprised his role as the iconic boxer in both Creed films in 2015 and 2o18, respectively. His arc and acting in the first even garnering him a Best Supporting Actor nomination.
This departure from this installment of the franchise speaks to Adonis Creed as a character as well as the actor, Michael B. Jordan, himself. Balboa’s role early in the franchise was to be a mentor for Creed, but as Creed becomes his own character, he will have to learn how to do it himself.
This film will also mark Michael B. Jordan’s directorial debut, something that Stallone himself has done many times in the Rocky Franchise. This is important for a franchise that is so long running. Franchises that rely too heavily on bringing back characters, locations, and storylines are doomed to fail eventually. Similar to humanity, franchise must evolve.
While Stallone will not appear in this film, it does not rule out his return in a future installment of the franchise. Aside from the Rocky and Rambo franchises, Stallone is still plenty busy. The three-time Academy Award nominee will be in James Gunn’s The Suicide Squad as King Shark, directing some projects, and still is acting in more projects.
As of now there seems to be no bad blood between Warner Bros and Stallone.
Creed III is set to release on November 23, 2022.