Creed 3 Will Retain the Spirit of Rocky Without Sylvester Stallone, Michael B. Jordan Says

The upcoming boxing sequel and Rocky spinoff, Creed III, will find Michael B. Jordan’s Adonis entering the ring without Sylvester Stallone’s Rocky at his side. Now, speaking with Empire, Jordan has offered some insight into how the young champ will cope without Balboa, and revealing that, while The Italian Stallion will not appear in the flesh, his presence will still be felt.

“It’s really diving into the Creed universe and having him evolve, start his own family and go through his own trials and tribulations in life. It’s allowed Adonis to stand on his own two feet and use the wisdom he’s learned from Rocky in the other two films. I think it’s in the spirit of Rocky, whose fingerprints will always and forever be on this franchise. The essence of him is still there. But at the same time, the Creed franchise is moving in a strong direction.”

Set five years after Creed II, and after dominating the boxing world, Adonis “Donnie” Creed has been thriving in both his career and family life. But when a childhood friend and former boxing prodigy, Damian “Dame” Anderson, resurfaces after serving a long sentence in prison, he is eager to prove that he deserves his shot in the ring. The face-off between former friends is more than just a fight. To settle the score, Donnie must put his future on the line to battle Dame – a fighter who has nothing to lose.

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Sylvester Stallone Has Revealed Why He Decided Not to Bring Rocky Back for Another Round

MGM/Warner Bros. Pictures

Rocky creator and star Sylvester Stallone has since revealed why Rocky Balboa will not appear in Creed III. Ultimately, the direction of the movie was just too dark for Stallone, who would have preferred something much more sentimental. “That’s a regretful situation because I know what it could have been, Stallone said earlier this month regarding Rocky’s absence. “It was taken in a direction that is quite different than I would’ve taken it. It’s a different philosophy – Irwin Winkler’s and 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.”

Here’s hoping, that in his darkest hour and without Rocky in his corner, Adonis Creed can rise to the challenge of winning, and leading the franchise all on his own.

Creed III is being directed by Michael B. Jordan, in his feature directorial debut, with a screenplay by Keenan Coogler and Zach Baylin from a story they co-wrote with Ryan Coogler. The sequel stars Michael B. Jordan, Jonathan Majors, Tessa Thompson, Phylicia Rashad, Wood Harris, and Creed 2 star Florian Munteanu, as well as Selenis Leyva, Thaddeus J. Mixson, Spence Moore II, Mila Davis-Kent, and Canelo Álvarez.

Creed III is scheduled to be released in the United States on March 3, 2023, by United Artists Releasing.