The third installment of the Creed franchise, Creed III, has a vast difference from the first two: Sylvester Stallone, who plays Rocky, is not in it.
Since launching the Rocky film series in 1976, Stallone has participated in every movie series, including the first two Creed movies, which starred Michael B. Jordan as Adonis Creed.
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Michael B Jordan explains why Rocky is not in Creed III
Rocky, played by Sylvester Stallone, doesn’t appear in Creed III at all, marking the first time in the series that Rocky does not feature. Jordan, who also directed the film, gave a fresh interview to HOT97 and explained why.
“First of all, Sly and Rocky’s DNA is through this entire franchise. You can’t have these movies [without that]. That underdog spirit, I think, connects the underdog in all of us,” Jordan explained.
“I think what we love about these movies so much is that we see somebody that’s going through hardships, that’s able to rise from the ashes and reach the mountaintop, and we connect with that. For us, we connect with characters that can do the same, and that’s what we want to do with Adonis Creed.”
He added, “I want Adonis to stand on his own two feet. In order to do that, we had to go into the past. What were those transformative years, those childhood traumas that shaped [Adonis] today?”
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Rocky may only be addressed briefly, but his spirit nonetheless plays a significant role in the events of Creed 3.
Adonis Creed draws motivation from his message of perseverance to push through obstacles before and during his battle with Damian Anderson, played by Jonathan Majors.
At one point, Adonis even makes a clever reference to Rocky’s catchphrase, “It ain’t how hard you can hit.”
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Rocky almost seems to have been removed from Creed’s own past in the end. Considering that there aren’t any images of Rocky in Creed’s internal museum, it seems as though their relationship has been retconned into a fake.
It’s difficult to accept Rocky missing important life events, but it’s a touch disrespectful that Creed was motivated to stand up without ever hearing his mentor’s voice or considering how much he contributed to the evolution of that ideology.
Creed demonstrated his dependence on Rocky by applying his lesson, but there was no mention of where it came from.
What will become of Adonis without Rocky?
It makes it fitting that the plot of Michael B. Jordan’s Adonis would take a darker turn without Rocky in his corner.
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The darker plot of Creed 3 completed the arc of Adonis, who was first introduced to the franchise as a disturbed youngster.
The gloom really fits Rocky’s entire perseverance attitude better and allows Creed to still play with some of the best Rocky pillars, such as inspirational montages and uplifting triumph over hardship.
Positive reviews for Creed III have so far been given to Jordan for both his directing and the on-screen chemistry he created with Jonathan Majors.
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