While Sylvester Stallone has made it clear he has little interest in returning to the Rocky franchise, it is continuing without him. Michael B. Jordan has directed and starred in the upcoming Creed III opposite Jonathan Majors, while there are also tentative plans for Dolph Lundgren to take centre stage in a Drago spin-off.
The Rocky actor has already expressed displeasure about that, though we did later hear that he and Lundgren patched things up. Now, Sly has elaborated on that in an interview with The Hollywood Reporter.
"This is a classic case of them going around and trying to continually cherry-pick aspects of Rocky without even asking me if I want to join in," Stallone said. "I’m not an executive producer on the Creed movies. [Director] Ryan Coogler is. [Star] Michael B. Jordan is. [Winkler and Chartoff’s] children are. Not mine. I’m the only one left out."
Of course, we know Stallone wants what he feels he's owed for his role in the franchise's creation, something those who hold the rights aren't willing to make happen. As for the next Creed movie, it sounds like the actor has no regrets about not taking part.
"That’s a regretful situation because I know what it could have been. It was taken in a direction that is quite different than I would’ve taken it," he explains. "It’s a different philosophy - Irwin Winkler’s and Michael B. Jordan’s."
"I wish them well, but I’m much more of a sentimentalist. I like my heroes getting beat up, but I just don’t want them going into that dark space. I just feel people have enough darkness."
There's clearly a fundamental difference between how the producers and Stallone view this franchise's future, and whether he likes it or not, it is going to continue without him. Despite Sly's reservations, Creed III looks pretty fantastic, while there's definitely an audience for a Drago-led spin-off.
What are your hopes for the Rocky franchise's future?