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Why is Rocky not in Creed 3?

Sylvester Stallone's Rocky is not in Creed 3, and there are some fascinating reasons why he'll be absent from the newest boxing movie.

Sylvester Stallone as Rocky Balboa

Why is Rocky not in Creed 3? For a long time, the long-running Rocky franchise was defined by Sylvester Stallone and his presence. Then Creed came along, and his character took a back seat to make way for Adonis Creed.

However, Sylvester Stallone will not be in the new movie Creed 3. That means that when the Creed 3 release date does roll around, fans will be watching the first Rocky movie in the franchise, not to star Rocky himself in some capacity. That’s a big deal and marks the start of a genuinely new era for the series. But why is Rocky not in Creed 3?

Why is Rocky not in Creed 3?

Sylvester Stallone’s Rocky will not be in Creed 3 for two main reasons: first, Stallone is not a fan of the direction of the franchise.

He has been outspoken in saying that he feels that his omission is a “regretful situation because I know what it could have been. It was taken in a direction that is quite different than I would’ve taken it.” In the same interview with THR, Stallone also said he didn’t appreciate the “dark space,” that Creed 3 was headed into.

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The second reason Stallone gives is that there’s simply no space for his character within the story of Creed 3, as he told The Independent. “What it was is Michael [B Jordan] is telling a story, highly personal, but there’s no room for me.”

So there are both in-universe and out-of-universe explanations for why Stallone’s Rocky will be absent from the sports movie: there’s neither space for him in the story, and he doesn’t like where the story’s going.

For more on the Creed series, check out our thoughts on how Dragon Ball Z can help the Creed movies, find out how to watch Creed 3, or take a look at our Creed 3 review. If that’s not enough, we’ve also picked out the best Michael B Jordan movies, and have taken a gaze into the future to dissect the Creed 4 release date.