Creed III’s Tessa Thompson weighed in on the lack of Sly Stallone in the new film.
It’s the end of an era with the new creed movie leaving Rocky Balboa out of the story. In the previous creed films, Sylvester Stallone returned as Rocky, now serving as a mentor to Michael B. Jordan’s Adonis Creed. In the new film Creed IIIhowever, Stallone’s Rocky is nowhere to be seen, marking the first film in the franchise to not feature the character.
One franchise star who did join Jordan in the sequel was Tessa Thompsonwho returned as Bianca following her appearances in the first two creed films. Speaking about the film with THR, Thompson addressed the absence of Stallone in Creed IIIgiven how much chatter this has been getting lately. She admits that she almost forgot Stallone is not in the film, as his thumbprints are still so much all over Creed III that his presence was always felt regardless. Thompson went on to show gratitude for Stallone for opening the door for the franchise to live on, even in his absence, with the creed spinoff serie. As Thompson said in the interview:
“This might sound like a line, but I sincerely think that he’s so a part of the DNA of this that he felt ever-present to me. It actually took me a minute to be like, ‘Oh sh*t, [he’s not here.]’ There’s something about returning to these movies and all the history that we have with them, and Sly is so wrapped up in that. And in some ways, his absence makes him an even bigger figure in my mind, in terms of the franchise. He’s built something that is so strong and so durable that we were able to reinvigorate it and borrow from the universe and create something of our own. And in the success of this film, we also get to say that it’s durable, and that has so much to do with Sly.”
Thompson agrees that it was only natural for Rocky to move on from the franchise, but wants to be sure that Stallone still gets his due credit for getting the franchise started and carrying it so well for so long.
“It’s a passing of the baton, but for whoever is left holding it, it’s warm because of the hands that were on it before.”
Have We Seen the Last of Rocky Balboa?
These days, Stallone can be seen starring in the hit Paramount+ series Tulsa Kingbut fans shouldn’t necessarily count him out on one day playing Rocky again. Back in November, the actor said that the studio was interested in doing another Rocky film with Stallone reprising the role once again. While he’s open to that idea, the process has stalled with Stallone wanting more ownership of the enduring character he has helped create.
“They wanted another Rocky,” Stallone told THR. “And I was willing to do it. But I said, ‘After 45 years, can we change the playing field a little bit? Level it out? Can’t I get a piece of what I created all these years ago?'”
Creed III is now playing in movie theaters.