Despite suggesting last year that he would hang up his gloves as Rocky Balboa, Sylvester Stallone now says that Philly’s most famous fictional boxer “may ride again” in another film.
Stallone revealed a potential return for Rocky in a new interview with Variety, saying that he is currently working on a new movie in which the boxer meets a young fighter who is living in the United States as an undocumented immigrant. Negotiations for the film are in the works, producer Irwin Winkler told Variety, adding that he and Stallone are “anxious to make it.”
“[Rocky] takes him into his life, and unbelievable adventures begin, and they wind of south of the border,” Stallone said. “It’s very, very timely."
In addition to the film, which would star and be written by Stallone, Variety reports that a Rocky prequel series is being discussed, and could eventually come to a streaming platform.
“I just want to thank everyone around the whole wide world for taking the Rocky family into their hearts for over 40 years,” Stallone wrote at the time. “It’s been my ultimate privilege to have been able to create and play this meaningful character.”
The star’s willingness to strap on his gloves as Rocky once again is even more surprising given that he has never had an ownership stake in the franchise, despite creating it — he wrote and directed many of the Rocky films, and was nominated for best original screenplay for the first film. As Stallone told Variety, he has resented his lack of equity in Rocky for decades, to the point of being “furious.”
“After Rocky II came out and made a ton of money and then Rocky III hit and made more than all of them, I said I’d like to have some ownership since I invented it,” Stallone told Variety. “And that never happened. So I have zero ownership of Rocky.”
Stallone added that he has a particular fondness for the Rocky character, which may explain his willingness to keep returning to the role. The boxer, he said, is his legacy.
“It’s like my brother,” Stallone told Variety. “It’s the only voice that I can say what I want without being ridiculed, or being silly, or being previous or sentimental, because he is that way. Rocky can’t keep quiet.”