A day after revealing that he is walking away from playing Rocky Balboa, Creed II star Sylvester Stallone posted one final farewell to his most famous character. If Creed II is indeed Stallone's last hurrah as Rocky, the character will go out on a high note at the box office, as the film posted the biggest-ever opening for a Rocky franchise movie with $55.8M in returns over the Thanksgiving holiday.
Stallone of course first played Rocky Balboa, the scrappy boxer from Philadelphia, in 1976's Oscar-winner Rocky. Stallone would return as Balboa for five sequels, including 2006's Rocky Balboa, a film seen as a return-to-form for the franchise after years of diminishing returns. Many thought Rocky might be done after that movie, but the character would make another comeback in 2015's Creed, sharing the screen with Michael B. Jordan's Adonis Creed, the son of Rocky's old nemesis-turned-friend Apollo.
With Creed II cleaning up at the box office and Jordan firmly ensconced as Rocky's successor, Sylvester Stallone has said that he is now walking away from the character that made him a superstar. After an outpouring of love from fans, Stallone took to Instagram a day after his announcement to say one last farewell to Rocky Balboa. See the image and message below:
Though Stallone seems sincere in his wish to leave Rocky in his past, his Rocky IV and Creed II co-star Dolph Lundgren says he isn't so sure we've seen the last of Rocky. "I've heard that before. I don't really believe it, but we'll see," Lundgren said when asked in an interview about Stallone's retirement announcement. Indeed, Stallone has talked several times over the years about walking away from Rocky. At one point, Stallone had designs on killing Rocky off entirely, planning to have him expire at the end of Rocky III. But true to the character's spirit, Stallone's Rocky just keeps coming back.
Creed was the first time Rocky appeared without climbing in the ring, as he took on a mentor role to Adonis, and Stallone scored an Academy Award nomination for Best Supporting Actor. After making another appearance in Creed II, again standing beside Adonis while facing up to his own past in the form of Dolph Lundgren's Ivan Drago, it seems Stallone has taken the character as far as he thinks it can be taken. Assuming of course he is genuinely sincere about his plan to retire. It remains to be seen if this time Stallone will stick to his promise and actually walk away from Rocky Balboa.
Of course, Rocky isn't the only famous character Stallone has played multiple times in movies. John Rambo is his other most famous creations, and indeed Stallone is also set to return in a supposed final Rambo film, titled Rambo: Last Blood. If Stallone keeps his promise after both Creed 2 and Rambo: Last Blood, a memorable chapter in cinematic history will end with the departures of both Rocky and Rambo.
Source: Sylvester Stallone/Instagram