Rocky (franchise)

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Rocky
Rocky Logo.svg
Created bySylvester Stallone
Original workRocky (1976)
OwnerMetro-Goldwyn-Mayer
Years1976–present
Theatrical presentations
Musical(s)Rocky the Musical (2012)
Miscellaneous
Character(s)List of characters

Rocky is an American sports drama multimedia franchise created by Sylvester Stallone, which began with the eponymous 1976 film and has since become a cultural phenomenon, centered on the boxing career of Rocky Balboa. The franchise has been expanded into various films, and with a total worldwide gross of $1.7 billion, and is one of the highest-grossing media franchises.

The original film (Rocky) was written by Stallone and directed by John G. Avildsen, and was followed by the sequels Rocky II (1979), Rocky III (1982), Rocky IV (1985), Rocky V (1990), and Rocky Balboa (2006), all of which were written and directed by Stallone, except for Rocky V (1990), for which director John G. Avildsen was brought back, and distributed by Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer.[1] After the sixth film, which was envisioned as the conclusion of the franchise, the spin-off and sequel films Creed (2015) and Creed II (2018), starring Michael B. Jordan as boxer Adonis Creed, were released; they were directed by Ryan Coogler and Steven Caple Jr. and also starred Stallone.

The franchise will continue with a third Creed film is scheduled for release in 2023, while a seventh Rocky movie, and a prequel television series are in development.

The first film, Rocky III, and Creed were nominated for Academy Awards, with the first winning Best Picture, Best Director for Avildsen, and Best Film Editing, and is considered one of the greatest sports films of all time. Stallone was nominated for Best Actor and Best Supporting Actor for his performance in the first film and Creed, respectively. Rocky has influenced landmarks and popular culture; the entrance to the Philadelphia Museum of Art have become known as the Rocky Steps while phrases like "Yo Adrian!" and "If he dies, he dies" have become part of lexicon or widely memed. Balboa is also considered one of the most iconic fictional characters, and the franchise is closely linked with its successful theme songs, including "Gonna Fly Now", "Eye of the Tiger", and "Burning Heart".

Film[edit]

Film U.S. release date Director Screenwriter(s) Story by Producers Status
Rocky December 3, 1976 (1976-12-03) John G. Avildsen Sylvester Stallone Irwin Winkler and Robert Chartoff Released
Rocky II June 15, 1979 (1979-06-15) Sylvester Stallone
Rocky III May 28, 1982 (1982-05-28)
Rocky IV November 27, 1985 (1985-11-27)
Rocky V November 16, 1990 (1990-11-16) John G. Avildsen
Rocky Balboa December 20, 2006 (2006-12-20) Sylvester Stallone David Winkler, Charles Winkler, William Chartoff and Kevin King-Templeton
Creed November 25, 2015 (2015-11-25) Ryan Coogler Ryan Coogler & Aaron Covington Ryan Coogler David Winkler, Irwin Winkler, Robert Chartoff, Charles Winkler, William Chartoff, Sylvester Stallone and Kevin King-Templeton
Creed II November 21, 2018 (2018-11-21) Steven Caple Jr. Juel Taylor and Sylvester Stallone Sascha Penn and Cheo Hodari Coker Ian Sharpless, David Winkler, Irwin Winkler, Charles Winkler, William Chartoff, Sylvester Stallone and Kevin King-Templeton
Creed III March 3, 2023 (2023-03-03)[2] Michael B. Jordan Zach Baylin & Keenan Coogler Ryan Coogler and Zach Baylin & Keenan Coogler Ryan Coogler, David Winkler, Irwin Winkler, Charles Winkler, William Chartoff, Michael B. Jordan, Jonathan Glickman, Sylvester Stallone and Kevin King-Templeton Post-production
Untitled Rocky film Sylvester Stallone In development
Drago Robert Lawton

Rocky films[edit]

Rocky (1976)[edit]

Rocky Balboa (Sylvester Stallone) is a small-time boxer who seems to be going nowhere in life, as he works day-in and day-out as a collector for a loan shark and fights in sleazy clubs for low pay rewards, for which Rocky is mocked and told that he's nothing but a 'bum', especially by gym trainer Mickey Goldmill (Burgess Meredith). At the same time, Rocky successfully courts Adrian Pennino (Talia Shire), a painfully shy woman with an alcoholic brother, Paulie (Burt Young). But when the world heavyweight champion boxer Apollo Creed (Carl Weathers) chooses Rocky at random as his opponent in a title fight, Rocky realizes he now has the chance to prove that he's not worthless. With Adrian's support, sponsorship offers with the help from Paulie, and Mickey becoming his trainer and manager, Rocky is determined to go the distance with Creed and fights for his self-respect.

Rocky II (1979)[edit]

Soon after proving himself, even with a split decision loss to Apollo Creed, Rocky expects the good life to follow. He marries Adrian and begins spending the money he earned from the match. But after he fails at both endorsements and a series of low wage jobs, Rocky realizes the only way he can survive is to begin boxing again. Creed on the other hand, faces criticism from fans to overcome the fight. As a result, he publicly taunts Rocky into a rematch, for which Rocky trains once again with Mickey. In the fifteenth round, Rocky knocks Creed to the ground, falling to the canvas himself in the process. Both fighters struggle to get to their feet, but only Rocky is successful. For the first time, Rocky is declared the World Heavyweight Champion; even Apollo shows respect for him as he regains his support from fans for doing a fair fight.

Rocky III (1982)[edit]

After winning the heavyweight title, Rocky takes advantage of his newfound wealth and fame, appearing in multiple advertisements and television programs, and relishing his new celebrity status. After defending the title multiple times, he is prepared to retire, but the number one contender, James "Clubber" Lang (played by Mr. T), challenges Rocky publicly. Rocky, after dealing with Mickey's heart attack before the fight, is overpowered by the stronger, hungrier Lang and is knocked out in the second round. Mickey dies after the fight, and former rival Apollo Creed steps in, training Rocky to fight in Creed's old style (in his old Los Angeles gym) and to use more guile and skill. In the rematch, Rocky outboxes Lang, tiring the stronger fighter out and eventually knocking him out in the third round. After the fight, Apollo calls in his "favor" for training Rocky, which is a one-on-one match between the two of them with no cameras, no media, just man vs. man in the gym. The film ends as they each throw their first punch.

Rocky IV (1985)[edit]

After winning back his title from Clubber Lang, Rocky continues to live the good life, now that he and Apollo are good friends. However, a new fighter from the USSR, Ivan Drago (played by Dolph Lundgren), has emerged and challenges Rocky to an exhibition match. Apollo fights instead, and the beating he takes from Drago ends with Apollo dying in Rocky's arms in the ring as Drago coldly watches. To avenge Apollo, Rocky challenges Drago to a match, which is to be held on Christmas Day in Moscow. In a montage replete with symbolism, Rocky is shown training in a remote cabin in Siberia with the help of Creed's old trainer Duke, his brother-in-law Paulie, and eventually Adrian, doing exercises such as chopping wood, lifting rocks, running in the snow and climbing a mountain, while Drago is seen in an advanced training facility running on treadmills, utilizing weightlifting machines and injecting steroids to boost his strength. During the fight, Rocky takes the worst beating of his life but refuses to fall. He eventually wins over the foreign crowd with his display of courage and determination, and he knocks Drago out with seconds left in the final round.

Rocky V (1990)[edit]

In the aftermath of his fight with Ivan Drago, Rocky Balboa is diagnosed with brain damage and is forced to retire from the ring. Additionally, the Balboa fortune is all gone due to an unscrupulous accountant. Rocky's family returns to their old neighborhood and Adrian returns to the pet store she used to work at, while (in a subplot) Rocky (Robert) Jr. (played by Sylvester Stallone's real son Sage) deals with bullying at his school and Rocky re-opens Mickey's old gym. While training other boxers, Rocky meets a young, hungry boxer named Tommy Gunn (played by real-life fighter Tommy Morrison) and begins training him which results in a strained relationship with Robert. Unfortunately, as Tommy begins his rise to fame under Rocky's wing, a sleazy fight promoter named George Washington Duke convinces Tommy that Rocky is holding him back and Tommy leaves Rocky for Duke. After Tommy wins the heavyweight title, he makes a short speech thanking Duke, and is met with jeers and the familiar chant of "Rocky" from the crowd. Seething from this insult, as well as being called by publicists as "Rocky's robot" and being told that he's "no Rocky Balboa", Tommy decides to seek out his former mentor for a final showdown. Rocky starts to walk away from the public challenge, but Paulie decides to let Tommy have a piece of his mind about how Tommy has treated Rocky, and Tommy proceeds to punch Paulie. Rocky then challenges Tommy outside and the two proceed in a violent bare-knuckle street brawl, which Rocky wins. Rocky then proceeds to punch Duke for harassing him. In the end, Rocky and Robert reconcile as they run up the steps as father and son.

Rocky Balboa (2006)[edit]

In Rocky Balboa, twenty years have passed since his final fight with his former protégé, Tommy "The Machine" Gunn. Long retired, Rocky Balboa still staggers around an ever-changing world; his son is grown and distant, Paulie is working back at the meat plant, and Rocky's wife Adrian has died. Rocky has opened a restaurant named after his wife, which he stocks with mementos of his prime as he tells his old fight stories to customers. But when a computer-simulated fight on ESPN depicting a bout between a young Rocky Balboa and the current champion, Mason Dixon (Antonio Tarver) reignites interest in the faded boxer, Rocky discovers he has not lost his fighting spirit and considers an opportunity to prove himself in the ring again. Rocky almost wins the fight but loses in a split decision just like the first film. Rocky is last seen visiting his wife's grave saying, "Yo Adrian, we did it".

Creed films[edit]

Creed (2015)[edit]

Adonis "Donnie" Johnson (Michael B. Jordan), the illegitimate son of the late former heavyweight champion Apollo Creed, tracks down Rocky Balboa at Adrian's and asks Rocky to become his trainer. Rocky is reluctant, but eventually agrees. When word gets out that Donnie is Creed's illegitimate son, the handlers of world light heavyweight champion "Pretty" Ricky Conlan, who is forced into retirement by an impending prison term, offer to make Donnie the latter's final challenger—provided that he change his name to Adonis Creed. Donnie balks at first, wanting to forge his own legacy, but he eventually agrees. While helping Donnie train, Rocky learns he has non-Hodgkin's lymphoma. He is initially unwilling to undergo chemotherapy because it wasn't enough to save Adrian from ovarian cancer. Donnie persuades Rocky to seek treatment and continues training while Rocky recovers. In a battle reminiscent of Apollo and Rocky's first fight, Donnie fights Conlan in Conlan's hometown of Liverpool and surprises almost everyone by going the distance and pushing Conlan to his limit. Conlan wins by split decision, but Donnie wins the respect of Conlan and the crowd, with Conlan calling Donnie the future of the light heavyweight division. Returning to Philadelphia, Donnie and a recovering Rocky both make their way up the Philadelphia Museum steps and look at the skyline.

Creed II (2018)[edit]

Three years after losing the fight to "Pretty" Ricky Conlan, Adonis Johnson Creed wins the World Heavyweight Championship and proposes to his girlfriend, Bianca Taylor (Tessa Thompson). Meanwhile, three decades since the death of Apollo Creed and his loss to Rocky Balboa, Ivan Drago is training his son, Viktor Drago (Florian Munteanu), to reclaim their honor by having Viktor publicly challenge Adonis for the World Heavyweight Title. Rocky is reluctant to train Adonis, fearing Adonis will meet the same fate as his father, but Adonis accepts the challenge without him and is badly injured during the fight. Because of Viktor's disqualification, Adonis retains the title. Viktor demands a rematch, while he is being promoted by his father's supporters who originally abandoned Drago, including Drago's ex-wife, Ludmilla (Brigitte Nielsen). Viktor is subjected to vicious training sessions in preparation for the rematch. Rocky comes to Adonis' aid and decides to train him in the Southern California desert, with a different tactic for Adonis to take in Viktor's powerful punches. The rematch is set in Moscow, and Adonis is able to take Viktor's powerful punches, while leaving Viktor exhausted. Viktor's supporters and his mother leave during the fight with doubt that Viktor will win. Drago seeing his son taking Adonis’ punches without fighting back, throws in the towel and assures his son that he is more important to him and that he will not abandon him like he was. While Rocky later reunites with his son, Robert (Milo Ventimiglia) and meets his grandson, Adonis goes to his late father's grave, making peace with his late father and honoring his legacy.

Creed III (2023)[edit]

In December 2018, Sylvester Stallone confirmed that there are ongoing discussions regarding a third Creed film. That same month, professional boxer Deontay Wilder announced plans to begin a career in acting, stating specifically that he wants to play James "Clubber" Lang's son in Creed III.[3] Stallone and Michael B. Jordan expressed mutual interest in such a character featuring in the plot of the next installment, while Stallone stated that he wasn't opposed to the casting choice.[4][5] Creed III was later officially confirmed to be in development.[6] Producers expressed interest in having Jordan serve as director, with Irwin Winkler stating that he had personally offered the position to the actor.[7]

In February 2020, Zach Baylin signed on as screenwriter with Jordan confirmed to reprise his role as Adonis "Donnie" Creed.[8] By October of the same year, Jordan entered early negotiations to be the film's director in addition to his starring role.[9][10] By March 2021 Jordan officially signed on as director of the project, marking the directorial debut for the star as a filmmaker, with a script co-written by Zach Baylin and Keenan Coogler, from an original story written by Ryan Coogler. Irwin Winkler, Charles Winkler, William Chartoff, David Winkler, Jonathan Glickman, Jordan and Ryan Coogler serve as co-producers. The project is a joint-venture production between MGM, Chartoff-Winkler Productions, Proximity Media, and United Artists Releasing. Creed III is scheduled to be released on March 3, 2023.[11] Stallone later announced that he will not appear as Balboa in the film.[12]

Future[edit]

Untitled seventh Rocky film (TBA)[edit]

In May 2019 at the Cannes Film Festival, Sylvester Stallone said that he had another story about Rocky Balboa.[13] By July, Stallone confirmed that a sequel/follow-up to the current film series is in development. The project will be a joint-production venture between Winkler Films Production and MGM. Stallone will serve as writer in addition to starring in the film.

Conceptualized as an epilogue story, the film is said to be about Rocky befriending a young fighter who is a foreigner, stuck illegally in the United States. Stallone states: "Rocky meets a young, angry person who got stuck in this country when he comes to see his sister. He takes him into his life, and unbelievable adventures begin, and they wind up south of the border. It's very, very timely".[14] By May 2020, Stallone said that he is still working on the film, though it has not yet been officially green-lit by the studio.[15] However in a November 2021 Instagram post, Stallone expressed doubt about the film being greenlit, due to his increasingly sour relationship with Irwin Winkler.[16] In November 2022, Stallone confirmed that the studio wants another Rocky film, but that negotiations to attain part of the rights to the character from the producers stalled development. He further stated that he is writing the script and that if the studio likes his work, the film will be made.[17]

Drago (TBA)[edit]

In November 2021, Dolph Lundgren revealed that there are developments for a film centered around his character Ivan Drago.[18] By July 2022, the project was officially announced by MGM with Robert Lawton serving as screenwriter on the project. Lawton had previously completed a spec script for a movie pitch centered around the making of the first Rocky film. Though the studio did not choose to develop that script, studio executives were impressed enough to hire the writer for the Drago film. The screenplay is stated to be centered around Ivan Drago's backstory.[19][20] The announcement of the spin-off movie, was met with criticism by franchise creator, Stallone. He stated that while he has tried to attain part of the rights to a franchise he was instrumental in creating, the producers have been "exploiting" his characters while trying to keep him out of the creative team.[21] Following Stallone's response, Lundgren stated that he immediately reached out to his friend, explaining that when the project had been presented to him he had been informed that Stallone would be involved as a producer, as well as appearing in the movie; the actor further stated that the project isn't officially green-lit yet.[22] While Stallone's reactions were perceived as uncharacteristic to his public image, he later stated that he has since discussed the potential movie with Lundgren.[17]

Television[edit]

In July 2019, Sylvester Stallone announced that there are "ongoing discussions" about a Rocky prequel television series, with the project intended to premiere on a streaming service platform. Film series producer, Irwin Winkler however, is said to be hesitant in making a television series with concerns regarding how the story would translate to television. As an official production start has not yet been announced, Stallone stated: "There was some conflict there, yes. ...so there was a big bone of contention".[23]

In March 2021, Stallone revealed he had started working on the script for a prequel series that will take place during the 1960s, with intention for the show to be developed as a streaming exclusive with multiple seasons, each consisting of ten episodes.[24] By May, Stallone said that though there are "certain complications" with developing the series, but that he would "keep punching".[25] Despite this setback, later that month as the acquisition of MGM by Amazon for $8.45 billion had initiated, Mike Hopkins (Senior Vice President of Amazon Prime Video and Amazon Studios) identified the Rocky franchise as one of the major assets in the purchase. He also stated that the "value behind this deal is the treasure trove of IP in the deep catalog that we plan to reimagine and develop together with MGM's talented team".[26]

In November 2022, Stallone confirmed that his prequel script which was previously turned down by producers is once again in development for a streaming company. He stated that Amazon's new inclusion in the franchise, is responsible for the progress of the project.[17]

Main cast and characters[edit]

List indicator(s)

This section shows characters who will appear or have appeared in the franchise in main roles.

  • An empty, dark grey cell indicates the character was not in the film, or that the character's official presence has not yet been confirmed.
  •  A indicates an appearance through archival footage.
  •  P indicates an appearance in onscreen photographs.
  •  Y indicates a younger version of the character.
Character Rocky films Creed films Other films
Rocky Rocky II Rocky III Rocky IV Rocky V Rocky Balboa Creed Creed II Creed III Drago
1976 1979 1982 1985 1990 2006 2015 2018 2023 TBA
Robert "Rocky" Balboa Sylvester Stallone Sylvester StalloneA
Adrian Pennino Balboa Talia Shire Talia ShireA
Paul "Paulie" Pennino Burt Young
Apollo Creed Carl Weathers Carl WeathersA Carl WeathersA Carl WeathersP
Michael "Mickey" Goldmill Burgess Meredith Burgess MeredithA Burgess Meredith Burgess MeredithA
Tony "Duke" Evers Tony Burton Tony BurtonA Tony BurtonP
Mary Anne Creed Lavelle Roby Sylvia Meals Sylvia Meals Phylicia Rashad
Tony Gazzo Joe Spinell Joe SpinellA
Spider Rico Pedro Lovell Pedro LovellA Pedro Lovell
Marie Jodi Letizia Geraldine Hughes
Robert Balboa, Jr. Seargeoh Stallone Ina Fried Rocky Krakoff Sage Stallone Milo Ventimiglia Sage StalloneP Milo Ventimiglia
James "Clubber" Lang Mr. T Mr. TA
Ivan Drago Dolph Lundgren Dolph LundgrenA Dolph Lundgren Dolph Lundgren
Ludmilla Drago Brigitte Nielsen Brigitte Nielsen Brigitte Nielsen
Tommy "The Machine" Gunn Tommy Morrison
George Washington Duke Richard Gant
Mason "The Line" Dixon Antonio Tarver
Adonis "Donnie" Creed Michael B. Jordan
Alex HendersonY
Michael B. Jordan Michael B. Jordan
Alex HendersonY
Bianca Taylor Tessa Thompson
Danny "Stuntman" Wheeler Andre Ward
Tony "Little Duke" Evers Wood Harris
"Pretty" Ricky Conlan Tony Bellew Tony Bellew
Viktor Drago Florian Munteanu
Damian "Dame" Anderson Jonathan Majors
Spence Moore IIY

Additional crew and production details[edit]

Film Crew/Detail
Composer Cinematographer Editor(s) Production companies Distributing company Running time
Rocky Bill Conti James Crabe Scott Conrad
Richard Halsey
Chartoff-Winkler Productions United Artists Corporation 119 min
Rocky II Bill Butler Janice Hampton
Stanford C. Allen
Danford B. Greene
120 min
Rocky III Mark Warner
Don Zimmerman
United Artists MGM/UA Entertainment Company 100 min
Rocky IV Vince DiCola Don Zimmerman
John W. Wheeler
United Artists
Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer
90 min
Rocky V Bill Conti Steven Poster Michael N. Knue
John G. Avildsen
Robert A. Ferreti
United Artists
Star Partners III Ltd.
104 min
Rocky Balboa Clark Mathis Sean Albertson United Artists
Revolution Studios
Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer
Chartoff-Winkler Productions
Columbia Pictures Corporation
MGM Distribution Co. 102 min
Creed Ludwig Göransson Maryse Alberti Michael Shawver
Claudia Castello
New Line Cinema
Warner Bros. Pictures
Chartoff-Winkler Productions
Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Pictures
Warner Bros. Pictures 133 min
Creed II Kramer Morgenthau Paul Harb
Saira Haider
Dana E. Glauberman
New Line Cinema
Balboa Productions
Warner Bros. Pictures
Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Studios
Annapurna Pictures
Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer
130 min
Creed III Joseph Shirley Tayler Nelson Proximity Media
United Artists Releasing
Chartoff-Irwin Productions
Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Studios
Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer TBA

Reception[edit]

Box office performance[edit]

Film Box office gross Box office ranking Budget Ref(s)
North America Other territories Worldwide All time North America All time worldwide
Rocky $117,235,147 $107,764,853 $225,000,000 #552
#84 (A)
$1 million [27][28]
Rocky II $85,182,160 $115,000,000 $200,182,160 #863
#253 (A)
$7 million [28][29]
Rocky III $125,049,125 $145,000,000 $270,000,000[30] #498
#160 (A)
$17 million [28][31]
Rocky IV $127,873,716 $172,500,000 $300,373,716 #471
#235 (A)
#451 $28 million [28][32]
Rocky V $40,946,358 $79,000,000 $119,946,358 #2,027 $42 million [28][33]
Rocky Balboa $70,269,899 $85,450,189 $155,720,088 #1,124 $24 million [28][34]
Creed $109,767,581 $63,800,000 $173,567,581 #610 $35 million [35]
Creed II $115,692,155 $97,000,000 $212,692,155 #568 #713 $50 million [36]
Total $788,491,262 $796,765,917 $1,657,482,058 #26
#12 (A)
$204 million [28][37][38]
List indicator(s)
  • A dark grey cell indicates information is not available for the film.
  • (A) indicates the adjusted totals based on current ticket prices (calculated by Box Office Mojo).
  • Rocky III gross includes 1983 re-releases.[39]

Critical and public response[edit]

Film Rotten Tomatoes Metacritic CinemaScore[40]
Rocky 91% (69 reviews)[41] 70/100 (14 reviews)[42]
Rocky II 72% (32 reviews)[43] 61/100 (9 reviews)[44]
Rocky III 67% (42 reviews)[45] 57/100 (10 reviews)[46]
Rocky IV 37% (49 reviews)[47] 40/100 (13 reviews)[48]
Rocky V 29% (38 reviews)[49] 55/100 (16 reviews)[50] A
Rocky Balboa 77% (181 reviews)[51] 63/100 (36 reviews)[52] B+
Creed 95% (313 reviews)[53] 82/100 (42 reviews)[54] A
Creed II 83% (309 reviews)[55] 66/100 (45 reviews)[56] A

Accolades[edit]

At the 49th Academy Awards, Rocky was nominated for ten Academy Awards. Sylvester Stallone was nominated for the Academy Award for Best Actor, and Best Original Screenplay, with Talia Shire also being nominated for Best Actress, and both Burgess Meredith and Burt Young being nominated for Best Supporting Actor. "Gonna Fly Now" was nominated for Best Original Song, and Rocky itself was nominated for Best Sound Editing, and won Best Picture, Best Director for John G. Avildson, and Best Film Editing. At the 55th Academy Awards, the song "Eye of the Tiger" from Rocky III was nominated for Best Original Song.

On December 7, 2010, Stallone was inducted into the International Boxing Hall of Fame and Museum, for paying tribute to boxers in writing and creating the underdog character of Rocky.[57] In January 2016, Stallone won the Golden Globe Award for Best Supporting Actor for his role in Creed. At the 88th Academy Awards, Stallone was nominated for the Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor for his performance in Creed, the film's only nomination. In total, the Rocky series has received twelve Academy Awards nominations, winning three.

Award Rocky Rocky II Rocky III Rocky IV Rocky V Rocky Balboa Creed Creed II
Picture Won
Director Won
Actor Nominated
(Sylvester Stallone)
Actress Nominated
(Talia Shire)
Supporting Actor Nominated
(Burgess Meredith)
Nominated
(Sylvester Stallone)
Nominated
(Burt Young)
Original Screenplay Nominated Ineligible
Film Editing Won
Original Song Nominated
("Gonna Fly Now")
Nominated
("Eye of the Tiger")
Sound Nominated

Music[edit]

Soundtracks[edit]

Title U.S. release date Length Composer(s) Label
Rocky: Original Motion Picture Score November 12, 1976 31:25 Bill Conti United Artists Records
EMI Records/Capitol Records (reissue)
Rocky II: Music by Bill Conti August 25, 1979 35:04 United Artists Records - LP
EMI Manhattan Records - CD
Rocky III: Original Motion Picture Score March 9, 1982 32:00 Liberty Records
Rocky IV: Original Motion Picture Soundtrack November 27, 1985 39:24 Various Scotti Brothers Records
Rocky V: Music from and Inspired by the Motion Picture November 12, 1990 45:19 Capitol Records
Rocky Balboa: The Best of Rocky December 26, 2006 60:06
Rocky Broadway May 27, 2014 57:03 Lynn Ahrens
Stephen Flaherty
Universal Music Enterprises
Creed: Original Motion Picture Soundtrack November 20, 2015 69:38 Various Atlantic Records
Creed: Original Motion Picture Score 59:27 Ludwig Göransson WaterTower Music
Creed II: The Album November 16, 2018 53:52 Various Interscope Records
Ear Drummer Records
Creed II: Original Motion Picture Soundtrack 50:49 Ludwig Göransson Sony Classical Records

Singles[edit]

Other media[edit]

Musical[edit]

A Broadway musical was written by Stephen Flaherty and Lynn Ahrens (lyrics and music), with the book by Thomas Meehan, based on the film. The musical premiered in Hamburg, Germany in October 2012. Performances commenced at the Winter Garden Theater on Broadway on February 11, 2014, and officially opened on March 13.[58][59][60]

Novelizations[edit]

  • Rocky: Upon the first film, a paperback novelization of the screenplay was written by Stallone and Rosalyn Drexler under the pseudonym Julia Sorel, and published by Ballantine Books in 1976.[61][62]
  • Rocky II: A novelization written by Sylvester Stallone, was published by Ballantine Books in 1979. The book is a first-person narrative told from the perspective of Rocky Balboa.[63]
  • Rocky III: A novelization written by Robert E. Hoban was published by Ballantine Books in 1982.[64]
  • Rocky IV: A novelization written by Sylvester Stallone, was published by Ballantine Books in 1985.[65]
  • Rocky the Musical: A script written by Thomas Meehan and Sylvester Stallone, was published by Hal Leonard in 2014.

Video games[edit]

Various licensed video games for various arcade and home console systems were released including:

  • Rocky Super Action Boxing – based on Rocky III and released in 1983.
  • Rocky – based on Rocky, Rocky II, Rocky III and Rocky IV. Released in 1987.
  • Rocky – based on Rocky, Rocky II, Rocky III, Rocky IV and Rocky V. Released in 2002.
  • Rocky Legends – based on Rocky, Rocky II, Rocky III and Rocky IV. Released in 2004.
  • Rocky Balboa – based on Rocky Balboa and released in 2007.
  • ROCKY™ – A mobile video game, based on Rocky-Rocky V and released in 2016.
  • Creed: Rise to Glory – Based on Creed and released in 2018.
  • Big Rumble Boxing: Creed Champions – based on Rocky-Creed II and released in 2021.

Documentaries[edit]

Rocky is featured in the 2017 documentary John G. Avildsen: King of the Underdogs about Academy Award-winning Rocky director John G. Avildsen, directed and produced by Derek Wayne Johnson.[66]

Stallone later hand-picked Johnson to direct and produce a documentary on the making of the original Rocky, entitled 40 Years of Rocky: The Birth of a Classic, which was released in 2020. The documentary features Stallone narrating behind-the-scenes footage from the making of the film.[67]

Director's cut[edit]

A director's cut edition of Rocky IV was originally scheduled to commemorate its 35th anniversary.[68] Ongoing editing ultimately pushed the release date, with Stallone finishing his editing sometime in January 2021. In all, approximately 38 minutes of previously unreleased footage were added to the film, including significant extensions of both fight scenes and the Apollo Creed funeral scene. One reported cut was that of Paulie's robot.[69][70] Robert Doornick, founder of International Robotics and the voice of the robot, commented that Stallone cut all of the robot scenes in the director's cut to save money on royalty fees that were given to Doornick in the original cut.[71]

The cut missed its original November 27, 2020 release, though by February 2021 Stallone stated that they were in the final stages of completing the project.[72] His cut of the film was finished in April.[73] This version had a one-night limited theatrical release on November 11, 2021 and was additionally released in digital formats the following day.[74]

In popular culture[edit]

The 2016 film Chuck depicts Chuck Wepner, his 1975 title fight with the heavyweight champion, Muhammad Ali, and the fight's influence on the screenplay for Rocky.

Canceled projects[edit]

In the January 2022 issue of Empire, published in November 2021, Ralph Macchio revealed that he had previously been approached about a potential Rocky and The Karate Kid crossover film in 2012, to be directed by John G. Avildsen which would follow Daniel LaRusso's daughter and Milo Ventimiglia's Rocky Balboa Jr. "get[ting] together and open[ing] a dojo". Describing the concept as "awful", Macchio declined reprising his role and the project subsequently entered development hell, before being abandoned in favor of Creed and Cobra Kai individually.[75]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "STALLONE SAYS ROCKY MAY RIDE AGAIN WITH TALK OF A SEQUEL AND PREQUEL". joblo.com. July 23, 2019. Retrieved July 23, 2019.
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