A Rocky shock: Sylvester Stallone breaks fans' hearts with Creed III announcement
Rumors of Sly's possible absence had been making the rounds, but fans continued to hold out hope that the heavy-hitter would reprise his role in the classic movie franchise.
It now looks as if those hopes were dashed, as Stallone's rep confirmed to the Hollywood Reporter on Tuesday that he will not appear in the upcoming film.
"Creed 3 is coming, but I won't be there," the 74-year-old replied to a follower on his Instagram.
The Italian Stallion gave no reason for exiting the ring and there has been no official comment from producers at MGM.
The news of Stallone departing from the franchise he built comes as a shock for film lovers and has left fans in the dark.
Stallone created the award-winning role of Rocky Balboa in the critically acclaimed 1976 classic, and has portrayed the boxing hero in six Rocky movies and the last two Creed films.
Film fans responded to Stallone's departure on Twitter
The actor often posts behind the scenes clips from his Rocky days on social media
Stallone won awards for his role in the Creed movies
The Creed series focuses on the son of Apollo Creed, played by Michael B. Jordan, who Rocky mentors. Stallone received a Golden Globe and an Oscar nomination for Best Supporting Actor for playing the role in 2015 and 2016, respectively.
Creed III will again star Jordan and will also mark his directorial debut. It is slated for release on November 23, 2022, presumably without the iconic Italian fighter in its storyline.
Judging by the huge response from movie lovers, Rocky's departure has surely rocked the boat.
Cover photo: Collage: Instagram/Screenshot/officialslystallone (2)