Michael B. Jordan Explains Why 'Creed' Franchise Is Cutting Sylvester Stallone's Rocky Balboa

It was recently revealed that Sylvester Stallone's Rocky Balboa had been cut from the Creed franchise, and series star Michael B. Jordan has now explained the basis for that decision. Speaking to IGN, Jordan clarified that Sylvester Stallone previously "let it be known that he wasn't coming back for [Creed III]" mostly because the plan now is to see the story of Adonis Creed through. Jordan added, "But I think, you know, his essence and his spirit… there's always going to be a little bit of Rocky within Adonis."

Elaborating, Jordan explained, "This is a Creed franchise, and we really want to build this story and this world around him moving forward. So, it's always respect and always a s—ton of love for what he's built, but we really want to push and navigate Adonis forward and the family that he created. So, hopefully, you guys will love what I'm thinking… what we're cooking up. I think it's going to be something special." Jordan's comments come after roughly a week after Stallone replied to an internet commenter, stating that he "won't be in" the third Creed film.

Stallone starred in and was a producer on the first Creed film, which premiered in 2015 and was directed by Ryan Coogler from a script co-written by himself and Aaron Covington. Creed II debuted in 2018, directed by Steven Caple Jr. and written by Stallone and Juel Taylor. At the end of that film, Rocky was seen traveling to Vancouver to visit is estranged son, Robert. There he met his grandson Logan for the very first time. It was, arguably, a very sweet and fitting end for the fictional boxing champ.

There is no word on what Creed III will throw at Adonis and his singer-songwriter fiance Bianca — played by Tessa Thompson — but the first film saw them bonding over shared experience while they both fought hard to build careers. Bianca was diagnosed with a hearing disorder, which Creed II revealed was passed down to their daughter Amara, who was born deaf. While we have no idea what Creed III may hold, as of yet, it has been confirmed that it is being written by Zach Baylin and directed by Jordan, in his directorial debut. This film is currently scheduled to be released in theatres on Nov. 23, 2022.

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As for Rocky Balboa, he is actually not necessarily gone for good. In 2019, Stallone revealed that there are plans to continue his story, post-Creed II, with the legendary fighter training an undocumented immigrant with big boxing dreams. "Rocky meets a young, angry person who got stuck in this country when he comes to see his sister. He takes him into his life, and unbelievable adventures begin, and they wind up south of the border," Stallone said of the planned film. "It's very, very timely."