Sylvester Stallone reprises Rocky Balboa in spin-off

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Having created Rocky Balboa and played him in six prior incarnations, Sylvester Stallone slipped easily back into the role

Having created Rocky Balboa and played him in six prior incarnations, Sylvester Stallone slipped easily back into the role

For the seventh time in his illustrious career, Sylvester Stallone portrays his most iconic role of boxing legend Rocky Balboa in Warner Bros. Pictures’ Creed.

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Exploring a new chapter in the Rocky story, the film focuses on Adonis, the son of Apollo Creed, Rocky’s late best friend.

Portrayed by Michael B. Jordan, Adonis never knew his famous father, world heavyweight champion who died before he was born. Still, there’s no denying that boxing is in his blood, so Adonis heads to Philadelphia, the site of his father’s legendary match with a tough upstart named Rocky Balboa.

“He thinks that because Rocky was close to Apollo, he might be the only other person who could understand what he’s going through, and that because of his history with the father, he’ll be willing to train the son,” Jordan offers. “But that’s not the case.”

Rocky makes it clear he’s not interested in going back to that world, and, Jordan says, “that just because his father’s Apollo Creed doesn’t mean he’ll become a world champion. It takes a lot of hard work.”

But the wholly self-trained Adonis doesn’t shy away from hard work; he’s ready to knuckle down. That says a lot to someone like Rocky, who decides to take him on despite his misgivings.

Having created Rocky Balboa and played him in six prior incarnations, Stallone slipped easily back into the role, eager to explore the character in this phase of his life, when he’s presented with this unexpected opportunity. “Even though the character comes out of me, I wish I was able to be more like him,” Stallone laughs. “He’s the epitome of patience, there’s not a mean bone in his body and, though he’s very competitive, he fights for pride.”

‘Creed’ focuses on Adonis, the son of Apollo Creed who is Rocky’s late best friend

‘Creed’ focuses on Adonis, the son of Apollo Creed who is Rocky’s late best friend

“Sly knows Rocky better than anybody, and he knows more about the sport of boxing and how to make a movie about it than I ever could,” director Ryan Coogler says. “We’d be writing scenes and I’d call and ask him, ‘What would Rocky do here?’ If I had ideas, he’d be the first person I’d call. If he had an idea, he’d call me. He was so generous. It was a great collaboration.”

Having been in and around the boxing arena—both fictional and real—for so long, Stallone has had ample opportunity to examine what makes a boxer tick. “Why fight when you don’t have to? What drives the fighter? It’s a very unique personality who wants to challenge himself in that way. Even Rocky, who is so gentle; when he’s in the ring there’s a primal thing that kicks in,” he shares.

“It’s about pushing yourself out of your comfort zone, testing yourself in this ultimate, mano a mano fashion that most people wouldn’t do,” concludes the Rocky Balboa.

Opening across the Philippines on December 9, Creed is distributed worldwide by Warner Bros. Pictures, a Warner Bros. Entertainment Company.

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