Summary

  • Michael B. Jordan’s Creed movies have shown that the Rocky franchise doesn’t need to end, but instead needs to keep evolving.
  • Stallone’s initial vision for the franchise was wrong, as Creed has proven that there are countless great stories to be told in this world.
  • With each installment, the Creed movies have told a distinctive and captivating story, proving that franchises don’t need to repeat themselves, but can evolve.


Whereas Sylvester Stallone was always looking for an end point to the Rocky franchise, Michael B. Jordan has proven with his Creed spin-off movies – and his ambitious plans for their future – that the series doesn’t have to end. Stallone earned dual Oscar nominations for writing and starring in Rocky, the quintessential underdog sports movie. Rocky was followed by four direct sequels, a legacy sequel, a spin-off movie, and two sequels to the spin-off movie. The franchise is still going strong half a century later, so there’s no need to call it quits.

There’s a Drago movie, a prequel TV series, and a handful of other Rocky spin-offs in development. This franchise will keep going for a long time. But Stallone originally had a much different vision for the Rocky movies. Not only did he not plan on a whole spin-off series starring Apollo Creed’s long-lost son; he didn’t even plan to make all the Rocky movies he ended up making. But Jordan’s work on the Creed films has proven that Stallone’s initial vision for the franchise was wrong anyway.

RELATED: Sylvester Stallone’s 2 Biggest Movie Franchises Share Exactly The Same Flaw (& It Ruined Both)


Sylvester Stallone Felt Rocky Had To “Halt” With A Trilogy

Rocky's arms up on the steps of the Philadelphia Museum of Art

In a 1979 interview with Roger Ebert, around the time that Rocky II was released, Stallone told the renowned film critic that the Rocky series would end with its third installment. He said, “There’ll never be a Rocky IV. You gotta call a halt.” Of course, Stallone changed his mind and made Rocky IV. After the success of Rocky III in 1982, it was followed by Rocky IV in 1985. Stallone said that would be the last one, but he ended up making Rocky V in 1990. After Rocky V bombed, Stallone once again announced the series was over – and then he made Rocky Balboa in 2006.

Meanwhile, Jordan wants nothing more than for Creed to thrive as a franchise of movies, TV shows, comics, and other media. He knows there’s no shortage of great stories to be told about these characters and this world, so he has no ending in sight for the Creed series. Stallone didn’t have faith in the Rocky franchise’s longevity in its early days, and critics agreed that it would eventually get repetitive. However, as long as the filmmakers have a good story and tell it well, they can keep going with a franchise forever (and maybe Creed will – they’re three for three so far).

How Michael B. Jordan Has Shown Franchises Don’t Need To “Halt”

Michael B Jordan in the boxing ring in Creed

With the first three Creed movies, Jordan has proven that franchises don’t need to halt; they need to keep evolving. Jordan didn’t just tell the same story three times; the Creed movies each tell their own distinctive, captivating story. Creed is about Donnie’s struggle to live up to his dad’s legacy; Creed II is about the grudge match between Donnie and the son of the fighter who killed his father in the ring; and Creed III is about Donnie’s childhood mistakes coming back to haunt him as the friend who took the fall for him now wants to hijack his life. The Creed movies haven’t repeated themselves; they’ve evolved.

Source: Roger Ebert



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