No matter what plans he makes for the future, or different kinds of roles he may play, Sylvester Stallone will always be pulled by his two most famous creations: Vietnam War veteran John Rambo and heavyweight boxing champion Rocky Balboa. And there’s a very good reason for that: those two characters have never really gone away, nor has the desire by fans for Stallone to reprise those iconic parts. In a statement issued to Deadline, he most definitely makes his position on that clear.
Back in May, it was announced that Rambo was going to be relaunched through a Bollywood production starring martial artist Tiger Shroff in the title role. At the he commented, “Being a martial artist and a huge action movie buff since childhood, this all seems very surreal and I’m very grateful for this opportunity. By no means do I believe I can replace the legendary Sylvester Stallone. However, I do feel that somehow this is something I’ve been preparing for since childhood.”
For his part, Stallone was nothing but supportive, commenting on Instagram, “I actually get excited in my heart whenever young artists get a rare opportunity to reach for the stars! Eye of the Tiger! I am sure you will put all of your heart and soul into it… Never give up young man!”
There was also word that Stallone would make a cameo appearance in the film, but that has now officially been ruled out, as he noted to Deadline, “Any involvement in Tiger Sharoff’s Rambo is not happening, under any circumstances. I wish them well on their own.”
Moving on, of course, then there’s the issue of Rocky, one of the movies’ most enduring characters. After starring in a series of five out of six enormously successful films (nobody counts the fifth one), the actor then co-starred in 2015’s Creed, a spin-off starring Michael B. Jordan as Adonis Creed, son of Rocky’s one-time opponent and then best friend Apollo Creed. Different in approach, this was a grittier, somewhat more realistic film with Rocky battling cancer at the same time he’s training Adonis.
Deciding not to do any further installments in the Expendables franchise, Stallone has been focused almost exclusively on the script for Creed II. Reports Deadline, “He is writing the script and has hinted online that the plot might well pit Michael B. Jordan’s Adonis character against the son of Drago.” As fans of the series know, Drago (Dolph Lundgren) was the Soviet champion who killed Apollo in the ring and then lost to Balboa in 1985’s Rocky IV. The hope is to get Creed II into production next year. No word on whether or not Cogler, who is currently directing Marvel’s Black Panther, will return or if Stallone himself will take the director’s chair.
We, of course, applaud any opportunity we get to see Rocky on screen.