Rocky, the movie and role that made Sylvester Stallone a household name, earned him Academy Award nominations for both acting and his screenplay. The latest Rocky movie, Creed III, is the ninth film in the franchise, but this will be the first movie without Rocky–without Stallone on the screen (he reportedly only participates as producer this time). Can Michael B. Jordan carry the franchise by himself? It’s all in his hands, literally as he takes on double duty to direct Creed III. But remember that Number 9 for a minute.
Stallone’s performance in Creed and Creed II proved he still has the acting chops, and can give as emotional a performance as ever, and his latest, Samaritan, was as strong as any mega-star’s late career roles. Rocky garnered ten Oscar nominations and three wins, including Best Picture, Best Director, and Best Film Editing. Stallone wrote each of Rocky II, III, IV, V, and Rocky Balboa in 2006. That changed with Creed, and the film proved the change-up was just fine with contributions from writers Ryan Coogler and Aaron Covington (check out my borg review of the first Creed here). But is there a franchise with no tie to Stallone?
The Rocky universe continues its “Who’s Who of the Marvel Cinematic Universe,” with Black Panther co-lead Michael B. Jordan (Killmonger) back as Creed, and Thor: Ragnarok and Thor: Love and Thunder co-star Tessa Thompson (Valkyrie) as his wife. New co-star Jonathan Majors is the new addition to this franchise and the MCU, playing Kang the Conqueror now in the MCU in the latest Ant-Man movie.
Here’s the final trailer for Creed III, but will it be the final trailer for the entire franchise?
For what it’s worth, we’re wagering Stallone is back on the screen for a Rocky X.
Creed III arrives in theaters March 3, 2023, 48 years after the first time Rocky entered the ring in the original film.
C.J. Bunce / Editor / borg