Sylvester Stallone is getting what many would call well-deserved recognition for his seventh time to play the famous Rocky Balboa character in 2015’s Creed.
There is a distinct possibility he could win a Golden Globe for supporting actor and go on to get a second Oscar nomination (his first being for the 1976 original).
It’s an undoubtedly powerful performance and a character that Sylvester Stallone knows quite well. However, a recent interview with Variety gives cause for concern, at least for Rocky fans.
The detailed interview, which also finds Stallone wisely hanging it up as Rambo, settles on the topic of the Rocky series and, more specifically, possible plans for the inevitable Creed II.
The long and short of it is this: he’s prepared to go forward regardless of how schedules shake out. That means director Ryan Coogler, who is largely credited with Sylvester Stallone turning in such a real performance and for the movie earning rave reviews, would not necessarily be involved.
Furthermore, Stallone has an ambitious — some would say face palming — idea of bringing back Carl Weathers and doing something “like The Godfather 2,” he says, where part of the story takes place in the past and part in the present.
Commenters and fans of the new film have already started expressing their displeasure, pointing out such a decision would devalue Adonis Creed, who managed to win over audiences on the back of Coogler’s script and Michael B. Jordan’s performance.
Since the Rocky character has nothing left to lose but his life with (SPOILER ALERT) both Adrian and Paulie being gone and his son pursuing his own life, redirecting emphasis to Rocky Balboa would kill what could be a burgeoning franchise before it really has a chance to get started.
There is also the issue of age.
Sylvester Stallone and Carl Weathers are neither one the physical specimens they used to be, and to dip back into the past to tell their stories, they would have to be.
Outside of recasting the two roles or using CGI, which has seldom been convincing when it comes to de-aging characters, the technique would be awkward at best.
Unfortunately, Sylvester Stallone has a long history of taking positive momentum that he has developed as a serious actor and turning it into one misstep after another.
Go back in time to the writer-director-actor’s resume via IMDb.
He followed Rocky with F.I.S.T. and Paradise Alley, two decent films that never found the traction they should have. That forced him back to Rocky II in 1979, which he followed with the underrated Nighthawks and Victory.
So far, so good.
Unfortunately for Sly, they didn’t pack the box office punch of Rocky, so he returned to the character again for Rocky III. While the first three films are all held in somewhat high regard by critics, there was a clear lessening in acceptance from I to III.
And that’s when it started getting really bumpy.
After following Rocky III with the hit film First Blood, he proceeded to run off a string of movies that were horribly received by critics and, in some cases, his audience.
Staying Alive (as director), Rhinestone, Rambo: First Blood Part II, Rocky IV, Cobra, Over the Top, Rambo III, Lock Up, Tango & Cash, Rocky V, Oscar, and Stop! Or My Mom Will Shoot, were all massive failures artistically.
In spite of this, Rocky IV and the Rambo films managed to keep Sly relevant at the box office.
It didn’t make them good films, though.
Eventually, he would end up with another film that was both successful and well-reviewed in Cliffhanger, but he followed that with The Specialist, Judge Dredd, and Assassins, to name a few.
After 1997’s Cop Land, it would be a long time before audiences saw Sylvester Stallone in another good film, with much of his career relegated to direct-to-video action films like Avenging Angelo and Eye See You.
It wasn’t until 2006 that he would come back strong with Rocky Balboa and Rambo, only to squander that opportunity with The Expendables series, Bullet to the Head, Escape Plan, and Grudge Match.
Now he has more awards buzz for Creed, and what does he want to do? The Expendables 4 and Creed II without the man, who was close to instrumental in its success and awkward aging effects to boot.
There comes a time when every good thing must end. Rocky is now past that point, in spite of going out on a marvelous note. Unfortunately, it is now up to fans to save the character from his creator and Sylvester Stallone from himself.
Pleas for sensibility can be made to Sly on Twitter.