Is 'Rocky' Star Sylvester Stallone in 'Creed 3'?

Rocky star Sylvester Stallone has been in every film of the franchise since the first movie way back in 1976, which he wrote, but the actor will not be reprising his role in Creed 3. The upcoming movie will continue the story of Adonis Creed (Michael B. Jordan), the son of Appollo Creed (Carl Weathers), Rocky's opponent-turned-confidant who was killed in the ring by Ivan Draco (Dolph Lundgren) in Rocky IV. Notably, Stallone has been pretty upset over the announced Ivan Draco spinoff, and he's also currently going through a divorce from his wife of 25 years, but neither of these are related to his exit from the Creed film series.

Recently, Puck News writer Matthew Belloni offered some details on what he's heard reported as to why Stallone is not coming back for the third Creed film. "It's not that MGM or Jordan wouldn't love for Stallone to return," but the actor/filmmaker reportedly had "creative issues" with the movie. Belloni added that there was also a "money issue," Belloni explained, adding how Stallone reportedly wanted more than the studio was willing to offer. Ultimately, MGM and the remaining producers — including Jordan and Creed director Ryan Coogler — opted to continue their plan, with Stallone staying on as an executive producer. Notably, Belloni stated that he reached out to the studio and to Stallone's publicist, Michelle Bega, but she "did not respond to my email, and MGM declined to comment."

More than a year ago, in April 2021 — after it had been revealed that Stallone would not be part of Creed 3 — Jordan spoke out and explained why that creative decision had been made. Speaking to IGN, Jordan clarified that 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 came roughly a week after Stallone replied to an internet commenter, stating that he "won't be in" the third Creed film.