Sylvester Stallone Taps Out Of Creed 3

The boxer who started it all will not appear in the upcoming Creed film.

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Sylvester Stallone fought tooth and nail to make the original Rocky film happen and has shepherded the series since. For the upcoming Creed III, though, Stallone will not reprise his role as Rocky Balboa, according to The Hollywood Reporter.

News broke via Stallone himself, who replied to a comment on his official Instagram. Asked whether there was a chance he would appear in Creed III, Stallone replied, "It will be done but I won't be in it. Keep punching." Stallone's rep confirmed to THR that he would not be appearing in the film. No indication was given whether this was a mutual decision or a whether one party or the other made the call.

This may be a bit of a surprise to fans of the series. Stallone appeared in six Rocky films and the first two critically-acclaimed Creed films. The ending of Creed II, though, had Rocky stepping out of the limelight and reconnecting with family. In that way, it makes sense that Stallone would not appear in Creed III.

Despite all that, Stallone isn't done with Rocky by any means. The actor announced on Monday that he'd completed his re-cut of Rocky IV, the film that laid the groundwork for Creed and Creed II. In the film, Apollo Creed (Carl Weathers) dies following his fight with Russian boxer Ivan Drago (Dolph Lundgren), causing Rocky to face off against Drago for revenge on his home turf in Russia.

Apollo Creed is, of course, the father of Creed protagonist Adonis Johnson (Michael B. Jordan). Creed re-introduced Balboa as the trainer for Adonis. In Creed II, Adonis faces off against Ivan's son, Viktor Drago.

The re-cut film will cut out Paulie's robot entirely, Stallone said in another Instagram reply last year, along with other changes to the Stallone-directed picture.

Creed III, meanwhile, marks the directorial debut for star Michael B. Jordan, and is currently set to release around Thanksgiving 2022.

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