Creed 3 starring Michael B. Jordan and Jonathan Majors has released on Friday, March 3rd,2023. The film which is the 3rd installment of the Creed franchise is originally based on the Rocky films starring Sylvester Stallone. The film follows the rise of Adonis Johnson, the son of Rocky Balboa’s arch-rival and friend Apollo Creed. Creed 1 and Creed 2 saw the Italian stallion reprise his iconic role as he plays a mentor to his competitor’s son helping him to embrace his father’s legacy. Creed 3 though is in the news not just for the boxing rivalry between 2 Marvel antagonists but also for the conspicuous absence of Sylvester Stallone from the cast despite being given a producer credit.
The history behind the relationship between Sylvester Stallone and Rocky is one of the books
It is common knowledge that Sylvester Stallone is the brain behind the Rocky franchise, having written the original screenplay for the first film in just three days after watching a boxing match between Chuck Wepner and Muhammed Ali. The film went on to win multiple Academy awards including Best Picture and Best Director, making it one of the greatest sports films of all time.
Following Rocky’s success, Stallone went on to write five more movies from 1979 to 2006, even directing three of them. These films then gave rise to the Creed series. The Expendables star was even nominated for an Oscar under the Best Supporting actor category, including being credited as a writer for the films. With over 4 decades of success, the Rocky franchise has amassed worldwide sales of $1.7 billion, making it one of Hollywood’s highest-grossing film franchises.
Also Read: “His absence makes him an even bigger figure”: Creed 3 Star Tessa Thompson on Why Sylvester Stallone isn’t in the Movie
What went wrong between Sylvester Stallone and producer Irwin Winkler?
Despite Sylvester Stallone’s deep commitment to the Rocky and Creed franchises, there has unfortunately been a lot of bad blood between the Cliffhanger actor and producer Irwin Winkler. In 2019, the action star accused the then 93-year-old producer of withholding and controlling ownership rights of the Rocky franchise from him despite having written the story for all the films. The actor minced no words when saying,
“I really would like have at least a little [of] WHAT’s LEFT of my RIGHTS back,”
According to reports, Irwin Winkler also tried to block Sylvester Stallone’s prequel and sequel ideas for Rocky, driving home the resentment even further. The Demolition Man actor primarily blames his lack of business savvy and naiveté for not demanding the rights to Rocky, which he confesses has now come back to bite him. Apart from the lack of profits that was due to him, it is a big disappointment that the star who gave the franchise its identity and fame has been denied any sort of ownership.
Also Read: “I knew I was in trouble”: Sylvester Stallone’s Obsession Put His Life at Risk and Landed Him in Hospital For 9 Days While Shooting ‘Rocky IV’
What is the future of the Creed franchise without Sylvester Stallone?
Creed 1 and Creed 2 featured Sylvester Stallone playing an older version of his classic Rocky Balboa character. There was a sense of nostalgia with fans of the action star flocking to theatres to see their idol bring back the character to life. But with his exclusion from Creed 3, Sylvester Stallone has stated that while he regrets not being part of the film, he is too pained to watch or be associated with it. It is evident from this statement that The Specialist actor’s severed relationship with Rocky producer Irwin Winkler due to ownership rights is beyond repair.
This also means that we may never see him in any future films of the Creed franchise. Despite the absence of Sylvester Stallone, Creed 3 has opened to fantastic reviews with Michael B. Jordan and Jonathan Majors’ face-off being hailed as one of the best sporting rivalries. Will the Rocky and Creed franchises usher in a new era without their original talisman? We will just have to wait and see.
Creed III is in theatres now
Also Read: “I elbowed him in the side of the head”: Sylvester Stallone Beat Co-Star Richard Gere and Got Him Fired From Movie Because of Mustard
Source: Screen Rant