Yo, say it ain’t so.
Sylvester Stallone said Wednesday that he’s retiring Rocky, the fictional boxer he portrayed for more than 40 years in inspirational fight films.
“It’s been my ultimate privilege to have been able to create and play this meaningful character,” Stallone wrote in an Instagram post with a video, below. “Sadly all things must pass...and end. Keep punching, I love you kind and generous people, and Rocky loves you, too.”
However, Stallone, 72, left a tiny bit of wiggle room for a Rocky comeback, saying in the video, “This is probably my last rodeo.”
Standing near a trash can fire on the last day of filming “Creed II,” the actor and filmmaker said he thought the franchise had thrown its last punch with 2006’s “Rocky Balboa.” But he credited actor Michael B. Jordan with its revival in “Creed” and the recently released “Creed II,” which packed a wallop at the box office when it opened Thanksgiving weekend.
Stallone has played a trainer for Jordan’s Adonis Creed ― the son of Rocky’s brash rival Apollo Creed (Carl Weathers) in the original 1976 “Rocky” ― for the two spinoff films. The “Rocky” movies mostly featured Stallone as the Philly palooka turned unlikely champ.
“I couldn’t be happier as I step back because my story has been told, there’s a whole new world that’s going to be opening up with the audience, with this generation,” Stallone said in the clip. He then tells Jordan: “Now you have to carry the mantle” and raises the young actor’s hand as if to crown him champion.