Sylvester Stallone's Rocky Balboa Not Returning for Creed 3

The acclaimed Creed film franchise is moving forward in the not-too-distant future, with series star Michael B. Jordan taking over as director for the third installment. Creed 3 will continue the story of boxer Adonis Creed, but it appears as though his longtime mentor and beloved father figure won't be joining him in the next chapter of the saga. Sadly, Rocky Balboa won't be returning for Creed 3.

The initial announcement regarding Creed 3 didn't mention whether or not Sylvester Stallone would be returning alongside Jordan. However, the actor himself has since revealed that he won't be back. A fan commented on one of Stallone's recent Instagram posts, asking if Creed 3 would happen. The actor confirmed that the movie would exist, but that it would happen without him.

"It will be done, but I won't be in it," Stallone wrote in a reply to the comment. "Keep punching."

The entire Creed franchise was born out of the Rocky story, as Adonis is the son of Apollo Creed, Rocky's rival-turned-friend that died in the ring at the hands of Ivan Drago. The first two Creed movies included Rocky's personal journey as a major part of the story, but that won't be the case in the third installment.

There's no telling what direction the series will take in Creed 3, but Jordan will be leading the cast and crew from in front of and behind the camera.

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"Directing has always been an aspiration, but the timing had to be right," Jordan said in a statement when the film was officially announced. "Creed 3 is that moment — a time in my life where I've grown more sure of who I am, holding agency in my own story, maturing personally, growing professionally, and learning from the Greats like Ryan Coogler, most recently Denzel Washington, and other top tier directors I respect. All of which sets the table for this moment...This franchise and in particular the themes of Creed 3 are deeply personal to me. I look forward to sharing the next chapter of Adonis Creed's story with the awesome responsibility of being its director and namesake."

Are you disappointed to hear that Rocky won't be in Creed 3? Let us know in the comments!