Creed III has proven that the series is already struggling with the Rocky franchise’s biggest problem – but an easy fix already exists. The Creed movies benefit from many of the aspects that exist in the original Rocky movies. For example, Creed already has a pre-established roster of boxers to pull from, an already-invested fanbase, and nostalgic music, locations, and shots. However, Creed also runs into many of the same trappings that the original Rocky movies had to face, and Creed III is already dealing with the biggest one. However, although Creed III introduces the problem, it also introduces the perfect fix.


Creed III is the third film in the critically acclaimed Rocky spin-off series, with the movies following Michael B. Jordan’s Adonis Creed, the son of Rocky antagonist Apollo Creed. Although the first two films heavily relied on continuing Rocky storylines, Creed III takes the series in a different direction. Creed III sets itself apart from the Rocky movies by severing itself of many of the ties to the original series, with Sylvester Stallone’s Rocky Balboa not returning for Creed III. However, the DNA of the Rocky movies still exists in Creed III, including the Rocky franchise’s biggest story flaw.

Creed 3 Faced The Biggest Rocky Problem (But Even Earlier)

Michael B Jordan in Creed 3 in a boxing gym looking contemplative

Creed III is already facing the biggest problem with the Rocky movies: retirement. After Rocky IV, Rocky Balboa decided to retire due to some serious brain injuries given to him by Ivan Drago. While this was treated as a huge deal in the series, it was undercut by Rocky coming out of retirement in Rocky V. He retired again after that, only for him to return one more time in Rocky Balboa. Constantly changing retirement status makes the films feel a little weightless, and the Creed movies are having to deal with this now. Adonis comes out of retirement to fight in Creed III, and this won’t be the last time.

With several more Creed projects in various stages of development, Adonis Creed will probably come out of retirement and go back into the ring several more times. This is a bigger problem for Creed than it ever was for Rocky, however, as it happened much earlier in the spin-off series. Rocky Balboa didn’t come out of retirement for the first time until his fifth movie, whereas Adonis Creed comes out of retirement for the first time in Creed III. This is a huge issue for upcoming Creed projects, as they will each have to justify why Adonis is coming out of retirement and fighting once again.

Creed Can’t Keep Repeating The Rocky Franchise’s Retirement Problem

Sylvester Stallone in Rocky Balboa wearing a jacket and fedora in a chilly outdoor scene with industrial buildings and scraggly brush in the background

Due to how early this problem is rearing its head, Creed can’t keep repeating the Rocky franchise’s retirement problem. Constantly having Adonis go into and come out of retirement would make the films feel tedious and repetitive, meaning that the franchise needs to find a way around this. One option would be to have Adonis stay retired, with the film focusing on his life as a trainer. However, this would be a hard sell for Rocky fans, with this strategy most likely not working for multiple Creed sequels. This retirement problem is something that Creed III will have to deal with soon – but there is an easy fix.

Creed 4 Must Introduce A New Main Character

Amara Creed

The best way for Creed IV to address this retirement problem is to introduce a new main character. Similarly to how Creed handled Rocky Balboa, Creed IV needs to make Adonis a supporting character while putting a newer, younger boxer in the spotlight. The best option for this would be Amara Creed. Amara is the daughter of Adonis, and although she is a kid in Creed III, she is already being set up as a future fighter. Having a father and daughter be a trainer and a boxer would introduce a fun dynamic to the franchise, allowing the series to continue while avoiding the retirement problem.

Related: Creed 4’s Amara Story Already Has A Great Real-Life Inspiration

While Amara would be the best new main character for Creed IV, there are other options. The next Creed sequel could focus on Felix Chavez, one of Adonis Creed’s biggest boxers that was first introduced in Creed III. Viktor Drago could also become the main character of the franchise, with him getting his own Drago spin-off movie. The film could also simply introduce a new boxer, with Adonis training him to become the next world heavyweight champion. There are plenty of options for the new main character in Creed IV, and each one would fix Creed III‘s big retirement problem.

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