Sylvester Stallone Retires Rocky Balboa in Moving Instagram Post

“It’s been my ultimate privilege to have been able to create and play this meaningful character.”

Sylvester Stallone as Rocky in Creed and Rocky/Warner Bros

In a short video published on his Instagram account, Sylvester Stallone officially ended an era by retiring his most iconic character, Rocky Balboa

This comes on the heels of Creed IIs release and subsequent box office success, so it seems fitting that Stallone officially passed the baton to Michael B. Jordan, who joined him at the end of the video for a brotherly hug.

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Stallone said, “Well, this is probably my last rodeo because… I thought Rocky was over in 2006, and I was very happy with that.” Pointing to Michael B. Jordan just offscreen, he continued, “and then all of the sudden this young man presented himself and the whole story changed.”

“It went on to a new generation,” Stallone said, “New problems. New adventures. And I couldn’t be happier, because as I step back, as my story has been told, there’s a whole new world that’s gonna be opening up, for the audience, for this generation.”

He elaborated in the post’s caption, writing, “It’s been my ultimate privilege to have been able to create and play this meaningful character.” He admitted leaving Rocky behind broke his heart and said, “Sadly all things must pass… and end.”

Wow. That’s the kind of thing that makes you sit back and take stock of life, especially if you remember the first Rocky.  

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Creed II—now officially the final true Rocky movie—has been killing it at the box office since its Nov. 21 premiere, and it has also garnered generally great reviews. 

By retiring Rocky Balboa, Stallone is allowing the franchise to evolve into something new, and Michael B. Jordan has proven he can shoulder the burden. 

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While it’s been a long time since audiences actually saw Rocky in the ring, this still feels like a loss. 

At least we’ve still got Stallone’s other great character, John Rambo. Rambo V is due in theaters in 2019.