Does Rocky die in Creed 3?

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Creed 2 (or Rocky 8) has come and gone, and Rocky lives.

... At least for now.

In 2018, Sylvester Stallone reprised his role an aging former boxing champion and mentor/father figure to Adonis Creed (often called Donnie), a top contender.

Many of us thought Rocky would die in the movie, was already dead prior at the start of the film and would appear as a ghostly apparition, or would be killed in the movie and come back as a ghost or some sort of vision in young Creed's mind.

By the time Creed 3 is filmed, Sylvester Stallone will be at least 74. (He turned 73 in July 2018). Given the franchise's intent is to pass the torch from Rocky Balboa to Adonis Creed, the Italian Stallion’s death in or before Creed 3 is likely imminent.

“I just want to thank everyone around the whole wide World for taking the Rocky family into their hearts for over 40 years," said Stallone on social media in November 2018.

"It’s been my Ultimate privilege to have been able to create and play this meaningful character. Though it breaks my heart, Sadly all things must pass… and end.”

Stallone added, "This is probably my last rodeo because what I thought happened, and has happened, I never expected."

"I thought Rocky was over in 2006; I was very happy with that. Then all of a sudden this young man presented himself (gesturing towards actor Michael B Jordan) and the whole story changed. It went on to a new generation, new problems, new adventures," Stallone said in the video.

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Fast Fact: The original version of Rocky V called for Rocky Balboa to die after a severe in-ring beating by Tommy Gunn, played by late boxer Tommy Morrison.

"At the end of the movie, he is on the way to hospital. His head is in Adrian’s lap and he dies because he’s taken this great beating from Tommy Gunn,” according to director John Avildsen via PhiladelphiaCBSLocal.com.

“And the last scene of the movie, Adrian comes out of the hospital and there’s the world press assembled because Rocky then is a big deal and she announces that he is dead, but as long as people believe in themselves Rocky's spirit will live forever."

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So, will Rocky die in Creed 3?

Answer: Probably not. In fact, he probably won't appear in the movie at all sans, perhaps, a few memory flashbacks from previous movies.

It's likely he'll be deceased prior to the start of the movie.

Why?

We never saw Adrien, Rocky's deceased wife, die nor did we see Paulie, his brother-in-law, pass away. We learned about their fate it in the respective subsequent sequels. Perhaps that's how Rocky dies too?

Rocky is so iconic that no on-screen death scene could do him justice. Moreover, having to watch him die could ruin Creed 3 for fans who have followed the series since the 1970s and 80s.

Perhaps the movie shows a scene from his funeral and/or scenes from previous movies that'll serve as memory flashbacks.

Will we ever see Rocky in a future Rocky/Creed sequel?

Answer: I bet we do.

In Rocky 5, a hurt and dazed Balboa, while in the street fight with protege Tommy Gunn, is inspired by the voice of his deceased, elderly trainer, Mickey, in his mind's ear. And in the alternate version (which was obviously set aside), Mickey seems to have more of a ghostly presence.

See the alternate ending below.

Instead of being a memory, Mickey's ghost appears to actually be on the scene. That segment is awesome and gave me chills, especially with his ominous, very different last words:

"Beat the sh*t out of him!"

Within the next 10 years, don't be surprised to see Stallone reprise his role as Rocky in a small part as a ghost or glowing, supportive figment of someone's imagination.


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