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No Stallone in Creed 3? Look for Rocky to return in Creed 4

By Lee Cleveland - February 6, 2023

It’s been a while since it was announced that Sylvester Stallone wouldn’t be coming back to play Rocky Balboa in Creed 3, but now we’ve learned that he has no intention of even watching the movie. This comes as a worrying surprise to many fans.

The news raises questions about how the new movie will handle Rocky’s absence and how it will impact its overall story arc. It also brings up questions about what other actors might fill his shoes and what new characters may be introduced to take his place.

With so much speculation surrounding this beloved character, only time will tell what lies ahead for Rocky Balboa and his future on screen. As a result, Creed 3, which is set to be released on March 3, 2003, has been met with both excitement and apprehension by fans who want to see the beloved Rocky character return to the big screen.

So, what it will mean for the franchise if Rocky dies? Unfortunately for hardcore fans of the franchise, the Italian Stallion’s death in the movie is likely imminent.

In 2018, after Creed 2 was released in theatres, Stallone indicated he’d be stepping away from the franchise. However, he probably didn’t think they’d kill Rocky off. Stallone probably wanted to be kept in the back pocket for a small role in this movie or future ones. Hence, he’s not happy about the presumed decision to kill Rocky.

Upset now, Stallone is forgetting death isn’t final in movieland. Although we won’t see him in this film, look for him to come back as a memory or apparition in Creed 4 or 5 if Rocky’s death is announced in Creed 3.

In Rocky 5 (1991), Rocky, via memory flashbacks, is inspired by Mickey, his former elderly trainer who had passed away nine years prior in Rocky 3. There is even an alternate version of the movie where Mickey also pops up in the climactic fight scene.

See the alternate ending below.

Instead of being a memory, Mickey’s ghost appears to actually be on the scene. That segment is awesome and gave me chills, especially with his ominous, very different last words:

“Beat the sh*t out of him!”

Within the next 10 years, don’t be surprised to see Stallone reprise his role as Rocky in a small part as a ghost or memory flashback.