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"Creed II" New York Premiere

Source: Daniel Zuchnik / Getty

Michael B. Jordan recently sat down with IGN to promote Tom Clancy’s “Without Remorse, and the conversation eventually turned to next year’s Creed III, on which Jordan now has directorial duties in addition to those of producer and as the titular character. But when the topic of Sylvester Stallone came up, Jordan informed the site that Stallone’s iconic Rocky Balboa would not be making an appearance and Stallone would not be involved in the third installment of the Creed saga. This marks the first time Stallone will be completely absent from a cinematic release tied to the Rocky franchise in any way.

“I think that [Stallone] let it be known that he wasn’t coming back for this one but I think, you know, his essence and his spirit… there’s always going to be a little bit of Rocky within Adonis,” Jordan said. “But this is a Creed franchise, and we really want to build this story and this world around him moving forward.” Since 1976, Stallone’s Balboa has been in all eight movies of the Rocky universe, and Stallone also had writing credits on the first two Creed movies, too.

Stallone replied the same a few days ago to an Instagrammer who asked about Creed III‘s release, but he actually somewhat foreshadowed this moment in an IG post from three years ago. At the time, Stallone put up a clip calling it his “last rodeo” and said captioned how he wanted to “thank everyone around the whole wide World for taking the Rocky family into their hearts for over 40 years. It’s been my Ultimate privilege to have been able to create and play this meaningful character. Though it breaks my heart, Sadly, all things must pass… and end…”

Yet, as of this past April 5, it appears Stallone has plans to give us another look at “The Italian Stallion,” this time in the form of his soon-to-be-released director’s cut of Rocky IV, which originally hit theaters 36 years ago. “We’ve just been working on punches and sound,” he explained in a recent Instagram clip, “because it’s never complete. I said this before, you can go back and see a movie that you’ve done 50 years ago and you [think], ‘God, I’d love to re-edit that!’… It’s not about making a movie, it’s about remaking. Unfortunately, you run out of time, you run out of money. They basically throw you out of the room. So, therefore, you don’t get a chance, but on this one, I finally got a chance, so I’m feeling great about this.”

So we’re glad to see there is no beef or drama between Stallone and Jordan in the end. They simply each have their hands full with a Rocky project of their own, and Michael B. wants for the audience to see his personal take on his guy, like Sly himself has done with Balboa for more than four decades. “[I]t’s always respect and always a sh*t-ton of love for what [Stallone’s] built,” Jordan shared, “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.”