Stallone kicked off the Rocky franchise way back in 1976 and has appeared in every movie in the series since, including in the first two Creed films, which focused on Michael B. Jordan's Adonis Creed.
However, Creed III doesn't feature Stallone's Rocky at all — the first time the character hasn't appeared in the series. In a new interview with HOT97, Jordan, who also directed the movie, explained why.
"First of all, Sly and Rocky's DNA is through this entire franchise. You can't have these movies [without that]. That underdog spirit, I think, connects the underdog in all of us," Jordan said.
"I think what we love about these movies so much is that we see somebody that's going through hardships, that's able to rise from the ashes and reach the mountaintop, and we connect with that. For us, we connect with characters that can do the same, and that's what we want to do with Adonis Creed."
Jordan continued: "I want Adonis to stand on his own two feet. In order to do that, we had to go into the past. What were those transformative years, those childhood traumas that shaped [Adonis] today?"
"I think the room for this story was really about Adonis Creed moving forward with his family, and having him move forward. That's kind of how we rolled out the story for this one."
"I know what it could have been. It was taken in a direction that is quite different than I would’ve taken it," Stallone said.
"It’s a different philosophy – [producer] Irwin Winkler’s and [director/star] 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."
Creed III is in cinemas now.
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