Savour your last moments of Rocky Balboa, because Sylvester Stallone has revealed that Creed II will be his ‘last rodeo’.
The plucky Philadelphia slugger, written by Stallone himself, was the character brought him worldwide fame, but now he’s done.
In a sentimental video posted to Instagram, evocatively shot while stood around a flaming oil drum, he announced his retirement.
“Well, this is probably my last rodeo because what I thought happened, and has happened, I never expected,” he says.
“I thought Rocky was over in 2006 [with the movie Rocky Balboa]. And I was very happy with that. Then all of a sudden this young man presented himself and the whole story changed. It went on to a new generation. New problems. New adventures.
“And I couldn’t be happier as I step back because my story has been told, there’s a whole new world that’s going to be opening up with the audience, with this generation.
“Now you [pointing to Michael B. Jordan], have to carry the mantle.”
Winding up, he adds: “Sadly all things must pass…and end. Keep punching, I love you kind and generous people, and Rocky loves you, too.”
There have been eight films in the Rocky series (concluding with Creed II), grossing nearly $1.5 billion since the first movie in 1976.
Creed II finds the plot from Rocky IV coming full circle, Rocky’s adversary from Rocky IV, Dolph Lundgren’s Ivan Drago, pits his son Viktor against Michael B. Jordan’s Adonis Creed.
It hits UK cinemas tomorrow.