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Why Sylvester Stallone Did Not Direct Creed 2

Sylvester Stallone has revealed why he didn’t direct Creed 2 - despite that being the original plan. Creed 2 marks Stallone’s 8th appearance as Rocky Balboa, and its fair to say the character has had a storied cinematic journey. The original Rocky was a script written by Stallone himself, who refused to sell it to producers without being attached as star. Despite some hardships in getting the project made, it went on to become an Oscar-winning success.

Sadly, Stallone’s follow-up projects all bombed, and despite being seen as a risky move at the time he made Rocky II. The sequel proved to be another success, and he would return to the character periodically, before 'retiring' him with 1990’s Rocky V. That entry was near universally hated – even by Stallone – and when his own career went through something of a quiet period in the early 2000s, he brought the series back for Rocky Balboa. This installment restored the reputation of the character, and Stallone would go on to more success with 2008’s Rambo and The Expendables.

Related: Rocky IV: Sylvester Stallone Explains Why He Cast Dolph Lundgren

Despite vowing Rocky Balboa was the character’s final chapter, Rocky returned for Creed, where he trains Apollo Creed’s son Adonis to be a fighter. The 2015 drama was critically praised, and Stallone earned a Best Supporting Actor nomination for his work. Stallone previously directed Rocky II-IV and Balboa, but while he was once set to helm Creed 2, that role eventually fell to Steven Caple, Jr. In a new interview with the Toronto Sun, the star explained why he stepped down.

I was going to direct it, but I realized youth must be served. This kid (director Steven Caple Jr.) has such great vision and energy. Making this kind of film is incredibly taxing because you’re doing (the directing) and the drama. You’re doing two things. It’s at least six months shooting, maybe a year of prep, so when it’s finished, Steven will have been on this movie for two years straight.

While Stallone knows the Rocky franchise better than anyone, it seems he felt the vision of the movie was better served with another filmmaker. Acting and directing at the same time is no easy feat either, and the last time Stallone directed a movie – 2010’s The Expendableshe broke his neck during a brutal fight scene. Stallone was still heavily involved with writing Creed 2, however, so his input and voice are definitely part of the project.

Creed 2 will see Adonis (Michael B. Jordan) come face-to-face with the son of Ivan Drago, the boxer who killed his father in the ring in Rocky IV. While that entry is a very entertaining sequel in its own right, its cartoony, over the top tone is at odds with most of the franchise, so it will be interesting to see how Creed 2 manages to merge the diverging styles of the two movies.

More: Creed II ‘Sins Of Our Fathers’ Featurette Is All About Revenge

Source: Toronto Sun

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