Saturday, May 28, 2022

‘Creed II’ Star Sylvester Stallone Teases the End for ‘Rocky’ Character

Michael B. Jordan and Sylvester Stallone in "Creed"
Michael B. Jordan and Sylvester Stallone in “Creed”

*Fresh off the biggest-ever opening for a Rocky franchise movie with “Creed II” bagging $55.8M in returns over the Thanksgiving holiday, Sylvester Stallone has hinted that he’s done playing his iconic Rocky Balboa character.

“I just want to thank everyone around the whole wide World for taking the Rocky family into their hearts for over 40 years,” Stallone wrote on Instagram in a caption to a video in which he shared similar sentiments. “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 ….”

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Stallone first played Rocky Balboa in 1976’s Oscar-winner Rocky and reprised the role for five sequels. The character made a comeback in 2015’s “Creed” starring Michael B. Jordan.

Not everyone is convinced that Stallone’s tossing in the towel on Rocky Balboa, such as Dolph Lundgren, the franchise’s Ivan Drago. He suggested on “Good Morning Britain” ( via Digital Spy): “I’ve heard that before,” Lundgren said. “I don’t really believe it, but we’ll see.”

Meanwhile, Stallone recently shared with Deadline how his brawling with Lundgren nearly killed him.

“But the hardest I was ever hit was with Dolph Lundgren, who was immense and had been the World Kickboxing Champion. He was tall and had tremendous leverage. I told him, as I told Michael B. Jordan, “You know, we have to really focus on realism.” And he took it a little far. But I had just seen this real fight between Hagler and Hearns, which is just a classic all-out battle, and I thought, “God, why don’t we try to reenact that?” There’s no way you can choreograph that. You just have to go for it because it’s so frenzied that there’s no way you can just learn that punch pattern. It’s just impossible. I needed that kind of uninhibited violence which these two fighters had for each other. So I tell Dolph, “For the first 30 seconds, just come at me with everything you got, and I’ll just try to duck and dodge and do the best I can.”

The result?

“Well, he comes at me, and he throws me into the corner. I’m battling back, and then bang, bang, bang, three times in the body, and I managed enough oxygen to say, “Cut.” Then, we proceeded for the rest of the day. It wasn’t until that night that my heart started to pound. I went to the hospital. My blood pressure was around 240, and next thing I know, I’m on a low altitude flight to Saint John’s Hospital where I was in Intensive Care for four days because the pericardial sac around my heart started to swell. He hit me so hard in the chest that the people at the hospital said, “Usually, this is the kind of injury you get from a head-on collision.” I said, “Well, it was pretty close to that.” They said, “It’s like a car accident.” I said, “Well, I think I was hit by a truck.” After that, I said, “Dolph, be careful, will you?” I definitely got what I wished for, but then the insurance company shut us down. And the lawyers came over and investigated the film, and saw the actual impact, and understood. You know, you actually don’t feel it in the moment. I’m amazed at how these fighters do this, every day. I have the utmost respect for that.”

In the video below, Stallone says “Creed II” is “probably my last rodeo”

Adding: “I thought Rocky was over in 2006 and I was very happy with that,” he says in the video. “And then all of a sudden this young man presented himself and the whole story changed. It went on to a new generation, new problems, new adventures,” he says in reference to Michael B. Jordan.

“Now you have to carry the mantle,” he says to Jordan. Stallone also thanks director Steven Caple Jr. in the video.

Ny MaGee
Ny MaGee is an entertainment reporter with over 15 years of experience working in the film industry in areas including production and post-production, marketing, distribution, and acquisitions. She has worked for legendary film producer Roger Corman, Quentin Tarantino's production team at Miramax, the late Larry Flynt, MTV/ VH1, Hallmark Channel, Paramount, Jim Henson Co., Parade Magazine, and various LA-based companies representing above-the-line talent.

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