Sylvester Stallone Says Creed II Is Rocky Balboa's Last Film
It's one of his most recognisable roles, and now Sly says he's stepping out of the ring for good.
After first appearing on screen in the 1976 drama Rocky, Sylvester Stallone has starred in the seven sequels -- from the Rocky movies to the more recent Creed spin-off.
Not only did he play the titular role but also wrote five of the sequels and directed four.
Now, Stallone announced, it's time for him to step out of the ring.
Posting on Instagram, Stallone expressed his gratitude to the world, "for taking the Rocky family into their hearts for over 40 years", and spoke about his great experience in creating the character of Balboa.
"Though it breaks my heart," he continued, "Sadly all things must pass... and end."
"I love you Kind and generous people, and the most wonderful thing of all, is that ROCKY will never die because he lives on in you."
In the video above Stallone says: "This is probably my last rodeo because what I thought happened, it has happened, I never expected. I thought Rocky was over in 2006, and I was very happy with that. "
"All of a sudden this young man presented himself, and the whole story changed. It went on to a new generation, new problems, new adventures. And I couldn’t be happier because as I step back, as my story has been told, there’s a whole new world that’s gonna be opening up for the audience, for this generation."
Thanking Steven Caple Jr, the director of Creed II and Michael B Jordan, the film's star, Stallone finished up by telling the pair, "Now you have to carry the mantle."
The franchise has already seen great success in establishing the Creed films within the Rocky world -- with Jordan starring as Adonis Johnson Creed, Apollo Creed's son.
Creed II, which opens across cinemas in Australia today, follows Creed as he vows to seek revenge, going toe-to-toe with the man who killed his father. Recently releasing in the US, the film has lived up to its predecessor, getting solid reviews and favorable box office takings.
If hearing that Stallone may not be featuring in a future sequel to Creed breaks your heart, don't worry -- he's not giving up on all his famous franchises... don't forget the Rambo reboot that's in the works.
Creed II opens in cinemas November 29.