Sylvester Stallone’s life-long cinematic legacy has been and will always be Rocky – a character he’s embodied on screen for nearly 50 years. Between the original movies and the recent Creed films, there’s always been a dedicated following for the rags-to-riches story of the aspiring boxer who makes it big – and despite Stallone announcing that he won’t play Rocky again, it does sound like his inner Rocky isn’t afraid to take a hit and keep moving forward (couldn’t resist). Stallone’s next big idea for the franchise was revealed on a handwritten note on Instagram – where he shared his pitch for a Rocky prequel TV series.
Scrawled across two piece of paper, Stallone’s treatment outline for the show – which it’s unclear whether or not is actually in the early stages of development, or just a flight of fancy from the filmmaker – imagines a multi-season 10-episode run series, aiming to “really get to the heart of the characters in their younger years.” And since the original film took place in 1976, that would place the prequel series at some point in the 1960s. “Imagine a time machine that will simply transport us back to the origins of Rocky,” Stallone scrawls. “A cinematic world brimming with characters that have been beloved by people around the world for nearly five decades!” It’s an era he describes as “the most transformative generation in modern history”, listing off several notable events that would play in the background of the show – including the moon landings, the sexual revolution, the new left, the hippie movement, the Cold War, the Cuban missile crisis, and the Civil Rights movement.
Among all this social upheaval, Stallone would drop in on the life of a 17-year-old Robert ‘Rocky’ Balboa. “When we first met Rocky in 1976, he was a very lost soul… We now see this young man struggling like all young people trying to find their place.” The real question is, who would Stallone allow to take up his most iconic role – and one that’s so personal to him – in a younger form? Would he ever pass on his boxing gloves to another prodigy?
In the meantime, it was recently confirmed that a third Creed film is officially happening, with Michael B Jordan making his directorial debut as well as returning in the title role. As for Stallone, it was recently confirmed that he’s taken on an unexpected part in James Gunn’s The Suicide Squad – providing the voice for sentient sea creature-human hybrid, King Shark. Catch that one this summer, and stay tuned for whether the Rocky prequel will enter the arena or not.