There are very films that have managed to attain the cultural significance and popularity that Rocky has continued to maintain through the years. Cementing the status of Sylvester Stallone within the frameworks of popular culture on a global scale, Rocky wasn’t just a boxing movie. It was a bonafide cultural phenomenon.
Stallone delivered the definitive performance of his career as Rocky Balboa, a boxer who fights his way to the top while dealing with the hostile environment around him as well as his own inner conflicts. This meteoric rise has become a common trope in many American sports drama as a way to connect sports to the ‘American Dream’.
The film was so successful that it spawned a highly popular franchise as well as a spin-off series called Creed. Directed by Ryan Coogler, the Creed films have also garnered critical acclaim and attention as it stars Michael B. Jordan as the son of the iconic world champion Apollo Creed (played by Carl Weathers) who is trained by Rocky Balboa himself.
In an interview, Stallone explained just how important the franchise and the character are to his legacy: “It’s like my brother. It’s the only voice that I can say what I want without being ridiculed, or being silly, or being precious or sentimental, because he is that way. Rocky can’t keep quiet. He just talks and talks and spills his guts.”
While elaborating on the unique elements of Rocky, he added: “As a writer, if you do that quite often, it looks as though you’re just lost in the world of exposition. But he’s actually saying something, and because of the way he speaks and his naiveté and gentle quality, you listen. Rocky can say things that my other characters can never say.”
There have been talks about a new Rocky film for a while now, with some cancelled projects in the past. At one point, there was even a possibility of a new project which would be a crossover between the worlds of Rocky and The Karate Kid but Ralph Macchio thought that the idea was “awful” and it never saw the light of day.
In addition to many other rumours, there have been reports that Stallone is working on a Rocky prequel television series which has been confirmed by the actor himself. Although things are still uncertain, fans are pretty excited about these new developments. If you want to revisit the Rocky magic, there’s a video circulating featuring the choreography of Sylvester Stallone and Carl Weathers in the original film.
Watch the footage below.