Stallone’s Balboa Dying In Creed 3 Would Reflect A Major Rocky Death

Sylvester Stallone won’t be there Creed IIIwith his absence prompting many to speculate that Rocky Balboa could die off-screen, mirroring the biggest death of Rocky III. Although he doesn’t star in the film, Sylvester Stallone’s producer role means he’s still involved, hinting there could be a story reason for Rocky’s absence. Rocky’s death in Creed III would be tragic, but its parallels with Rocky III would make both films even better.


In the Creed movies, Rocky left the ring and took over as Adonis Creed’s trainer, meaning his death would have a profound impact on the titular character in Creed III. Naturally, this story beat recalls the death of Rocky’s trainer, Mickey, in Rocky IIIarguably one of the biggest fatalities of the set Rocky franchise. Mickey’s death is a major motivation for Balboa in Rocky III, as Rocky’s adversary Clubber Lang was behind the trainer’s tragic murder. Now that Rocky has taken over the position that Mickey held in the original films, his Creed III death would perfectly reflect the Rocky III the death of his former trainer, making Adonis’ story even more touching.

Related: Which Rocky Or Creed Fight Is More Realistic?

Rocky’s Death Could Improve Creed III (If Done Right)

Although Rocky’s death may make it seem like Creed III it’s just copying Rocky IIIit could actually do Creed III even better if done right. Rocky Balboa was the face of the Rocky franchise since its inception, with viewers connected to the Italian stallion for over 45 years. The death of Rocky Balboa in Creed III would be an even bigger emotional punch than Mickey’s death, adding another tragic layer to the story of the upcoming film. Depending on how Rocky is killed off, the storyline has the potential to be handled even better than Rocky III dealt with Mickey’s death. Mickey’s death in Rocky III is a bit convoluted, with him dying from a heart attack caused by being accidentally bumped into during a locker room fight with Clubber Lang. Rocky’s anger towards Clubber always seemed a bit misplaced, because (although Clubber isn’t a great person) he didn’t intentionally kill Mickey. How Rocky dies is still up in the air, whether he’s killed or dies from his cancer coming back, but Creed III has the chance to make the death storyline even better than Rocky III.

Killing Rocky would also free the Creed restart the franchise of the chains of the Rocky movies, as it would ultimately be completely focused on entirely original characters. Whereas Creed and Creed II are awesome, they were criticized for following the story of the original Rocky movies a bit too closely. Rocky’s death would remove the final installment of the original spin-off series films, allowing Creed III and its sequels to tell stories without being influenced by those of the original series.

Why isn’t Sylvester Stallone’s Rocky In Creed 3?

Sylvester Stallone has been in all Rocky film so far, making sound Creed III incredibly surprising absence. However, Rocky not appearing in the film is not due to scheduling conflicts or budget constraints. In fact, Stallone explained why he’s not in Creed IIIsaying “[I] withdrew from [‘Creed 3’]. I just didn’t know if there was a role for me. But I heard it was really interesting. It takes him in another direction.” It looks like Sylvester Stallone’s departure from the show is actually tied to the story of Creed IIIfurther supporting theories about Rocky Balboa’s death.

Next: What if Rocky beat Apollo Creed in the first movie?

Key Release Dates

  • Creed-3-Teaser-Poster-1