COMMENTARY | Rocky 7 is actually going to happen, but it will be called Creed, and it will focus on the late Apollo Creed’s grandson. That’s the news our own Niki Cruz reported earlier today, and the word that has set the Internet film community abuzz. I’m one of the few people in this world, who adored every film in the series — yes, Rocky V included — and so I’m not too sure how to feel about this. Part of me wanted to string Sylvester Stallone up and beat him like a pinata for doing Rocky Balboa. Then, I saw the actual movie, and it was amazing.
But Stallone has had a long history of doing something good, making a comeback, and then devolving into one crap film after another. Stop Or My Mom Will Shoot, Oscar, The Expendables, Bullet To The Head — he tastes a little bit of success, and then goes off the deep end. Through it all, in my humble opinion, he’s always done right by the Rocky Balboa character. But this time, some new guys are running the show, and while their Fruitvale Station may be as excellent as the critics are saying, I’m still not sold on ever seeing more of Rock-O’s life. That’s why I’ve developed these ring rules for Ryan Coogler and Michael B. Jordan to follow. Break one, guys, and I must break you.
Listen To Sly’s Input.
His movies may often reek of stupid one-liners and corny speeches, but when it comes to Balboa, the man knows his stuff. It’s fine to make this movie your own, but remember that you’re dealing with one of the greatest characters in movie history. Do right by him, and if Stallone gives you some direction with regard to the Balboa character, take it, with one small exception.
Don’t Kill Rocky.
Since the news broke years ago that Stallone had planned on killing Rocky in the fifth film’s beyond-words-awesome street fight sequence, I’ve cringed with each new rumor that Sly would be doing another film. I do not want to see Rocky die. Ever. If Stallone tries to get you guys to pull a Rocky III Mick death moment, buy lots of Kevlar and hire bodyguards because I and about 90 percent of Rocky Nation are coming after you. And Stallone won’t be safe either.
Don’t Kill Paulie.
If Burt Young doesn’t want to do a Rocky 7, and you get the urge to give us a Paulie update anyway, remember: he’s moved to Miami to become a gigolo.
Finally, Don’t Touch The Fight Scenes.
Yes, Mr. Coogler, you may have made a great film with Fruitvale Station. You may know your stuff behind the camera. You may know how to direct actors. But don’t you dare even think about putting your own spin on the Rocky 7 / Creed fight scenes. Nobody directs a boxing match like Sylvester Stallone. Nobody. The technique is often more brawl than brains. The head shots may sound like gunshots. The slow motion and musical cues might take away from the realism. But have you seen boxing lately? Nobody wants realistic. We want Rocky. And even though he
won’t be better not be stepping into the ring himself, you’re playing in the franchise sandbox here. Give us a fight worthy of Rocky 7 expectations, and we’ll welcome you with open arms. Subject us to the cinematic equivalent of a Floyd Mayweather, Jr., fight, and so help me God, I will be your worst nightmare. (Oops, wrong movie.)
So how about it, Rocky Nation. What do you think of Rocky 7, Creed, whatever you want to call it? And what ring rules do you have for the guys accepting the torch?