Sylvester Stallone Regrets Killing Off Apollo Creed In 'Rocky IV'

As Warner Bros. prepares for the home entertainment release of Creed II, the second film in which Sylvester Stallone's Rocky Balboa plays mentor to the orphaned son of Apollo Creed (Carl Weathers), the filmmaker and actor behind the Rocky franchise admitted in an Instagram post yesterday that he regrets having killed Apollo off in Rocky IV.

The post, which was a tribute to Weathers on his birthday, called Weathers "the best cinema boxer of all time."

"I have to admit I regret having Apollo passing away so soon," Stallone closed out the greeting. "He was Irreplaceable."

Apollo died at the hands of Ivan Drago, the monstrous Soviet boxer played by Dolph Lundgren, in 1985's Rocky IV. The impact of that movie has been felt for the rest of the franchise, from the brain damage that his payback fight with Drago caused Rocky to the later emergence of Apollo's illegitimate son Adonis (Michael B. Jordan).

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In Creed II, Drago reappeared. His son Viktor (Florian Munteanu) in tow, to challenge Adonis for the heavyweight championship of the world. The idea was, in part, to reclaim the glory that Ivan had lost when he was defeated by Rocky by pitting his son against the man Rocky had trained to be a champion. While Viktor had a negligible claim to a title bout at the time, Adonis could not help but accept the challenge, seeing it as a way to rewrite history after his father's death.

Fans can also own Creed II via purchase from digital retailers in 4K Ultra HD, high definition, and standard definition beginning February 12 from MGM. On March 5, Creed II will be available on DVD and Blu-ray.