Years ago we met Sylvester Stallone as the scrappy, underdog boxer, Rocky Balboa. With his own script, his stellar performance, and a role reprised in the 2015 movie Creed, Stallone’s name was etched in Hollywood history. Yet, the path is never easy, nor predictable.
The fracture in the franchise
In an unexpected twist, Stallone backed away from Creed III, leaving fans and theaters echoing with questions. Despite the earlier successful partnership with Michael B. Jordan, Stallone left due to a dispute over the franchise’s direction and rights issues with producer Irwin Winkler. “Michael B. Jordan, nice guy, the studio’s wonderful. But it’s just the…it’s been such a real, rough emotional ride,” Stallone had voiced. Despite the discord, the doors to Creed IV aren’t entirely closed.
Stallone’s unexpected condition
“Now, if Michael B. Jordan, we come up with a story, I’ll do Creed 4 with him as long as the other fella’s not involved,” Stallone boldly declared. The desire for a story that resonates, away from the tumult, could pave the way for his return, allowing Stallone and Jordan to potentially reunite for Creed IV.
Even at the onset of Creed, Stallone was not easily convinced. It took the determined Ryan Coogler two years to persuade the hesitant star. “So I finally said, ‘You know what? Someone took a chance on me, once. I’m just going to throw caution to the wind and let him run with it,” Stallone recalled. Coogler’s passion and personal connection to the project finally won over Stallone, laying the foundation for the Creed success story.
Despite the initial reluctance and recent challenges, the heart of the story remains undiminished. The possibility of Stallone’s return in Creed IV hangs in the balance, resting upon the resolution of rights issues and the creation of a compelling narrative. It’s a potential comeback that holds promise, renewing the beloved franchise and possibly reuniting the iconic duo, Stallone and Jordan.
As fans eagerly await the unfolding future of Creed, they relish the recently released Creed III available on Apple TV+, and hope for a triumphant return of Stallone to the franchise, a full circle from his hesitant start to a heralded homecoming.