The shared Rocky and Creed film franchise would have been very completely different if Sylvester Stallone did not kill off Apollo Creed in his 1985 sequel Rocky IV. As Stallone prepares the upcoming director’s reduce of the movie, entitled Rocky Vs. Drago, the motion icon shared on social media that he regrets his choice for Apollo (Carl Weathers) to die within the ring by the hands of Ivan Drago (Dolph Lundgren). If Stallone may do it yet again, Apollo would have survived the movie and the flashy ex-champion would have ended up wheelchair-bound. This would have drastically altered the course of the franchise, together with Michael B. Jordan’s closely praised fashionable entries.


Thanks to Carl Weathers’ charismatic performances, Apollo Creed turned one of the crucial beloved and multidimensional characters within the Rocky movies. As the heavyweight champion of the world, Apollo handpicked Rocky Balboa for a shot on the title—regardless of being an unknown slugger from Philadelphia—simply because he favored Rocky’s nickname, the “Italian Stallion”. Creed was humiliated when the untested Balboa went 15 rounds with the champ, establishing the rematch in Rocky II which Apollo misplaced. When Balboa suffered his personal humiliation by the hands of Clubber Lang (Mr. T) and tragically misplaced his mentor in Rocky III, Apollo stepped in to coach his ex-rival himself and instill the “eye of the tiger” in his former rival. The Balboa-Creed alliance proved unbeatable, as Rocky regained the world title, however Apollo’s personal satisfaction pressured him to face Ivan Drago in Rocky IV and the towering Russian killed him throughout their combat.

Related: How Stallone Adding Mickey Changes Rocky IV’s Drago Fight

With the advantage of greater than 35 years of hindsight, Sylvester Stallone is adamant that writing out Apollo Creed and shedding Carl Weathers’ star energy was a mistake that damage the Rocky franchise in the long term. Stallone made two extra motion pictures in 1990 and 2006 earlier than the saga was rebooted with Creed in 2015, with a a lot older Rocky now serving because the mentor to Apollo’s son Adonis Creed, performed by Michael B. Jordan. Both returned in 2018 for Creed II, which noticed Adonis combat the son of the person who killed his father. Stallone believes that if he hadn’t made the choice to kill off Apollo, the remaining entries within the franchise would have performed out very in another way, and it is seemingly that the Creed movies could not have occurred in any respect.

How Rocky IV Would Have Been Different If Apollo Lived

Rocky faces Drago in the ring

Apollo Creed surviving the beating Ivan Drago administered would not have modified the broad strokes of Rocky Balboa’s actions in Rocky IV. Balboa would have nonetheless felt the necessity to avenge his greatest good friend, and would have nonetheless seemingly surrendered the heavyweight title with a view to face Drago in their unsanctioned Christmas Day combat in Moscow, Russia. It’s potential that as an alternative of Adrian (Talia Shire) arriving in Russia late to inspire Rocky, it may have been Apollo himself to reach and provides his previous rival the additional increase he wanted.

As talked about, if he had the prospect to return and make modifications to the movie’s script, Stallone would have left Creed paralyzed relatively than lifeless. That means Apollo may need remained within the hospital, or in his house, to recuperate and watch Rocky avenge him on the tv. If the previous champ did handle to make his approach to ringside, it seemingly would have modified how Drago behaved in his combat towards Rocky. Perhaps he would have taunted Apollo, giving the “Italian Stallion” a gap to cut the Russian down and knock him out. It’s potential Stallone can also have downplayed and even dropped Rocky IV‘s jingoistic “USA vs. Russia” rhetoric in favor of specializing in Rocky and Apollo’s brotherhood.

Changes To Rocky V If Apollo Have Lived

Rocky And Tommy Gunn in Rocky V

Unlike its predecessor, Rocky V would have been fully completely different had Apollo lived, as a result of Creed would have greater than seemingly been an integral a part of the movie. Carl Weathers’ involvement could have even modified the critically panned movie for the higher. Sylvester Stallone’s dislike of Rocky V is publicly recognized, however with Apollo again within the image it is fairly potential that the movie’s storyline—which follows Balboa as he trains Tommy Gunn (Tommy Morrison), who finally betrays him—would possibly by no means have occurred, in favor of a renewed give attention to Rocky and Apollo’s friendship.

Related: Who Won The Secret Third Match Between Rocky & Apollo Creed?

Rocky was identified with mind injury after the Drago combat and this plot level may need remained in order that each Rocky and Apollo would have been bodily and emotionally coping with the aftermath of surviving Ivan Drago. Rocky V with Apollo within the combine may have explored each beloved characters going through pressured retirement, and the toll that takes on two warriors who have been born to combat. How this model would finish in a conventional Rocky movie fight is not clear, until Tommy Gunn does become involved and in some way causes a rift between Balboa and Creed. Stallone additionally feels that the Balboa household would have “embraced” Apollo, however Creed additionally has his family as effectively and exploring the Balboas and the Creeds may need been the path Rocky V may have gone.

What Would Rocky VI Be Like If Apollo Lived?

In 2006’s Rocky Balboa, the titular boxing legend was dealing with the truth that he nonetheless had “stuff in the basement” that he may solely exorcise with one ultimate combat, in an try and show to others—and himself—that he nonetheless had what it takes. Further, Rocky’s private drama was dealing with the death of Adrian and his estrangement from how grown son, Robert (Milo Ventimiglia). Since this was an exploration of how an older Rocky is dealing with loss and reassessing his personal self-worth, it is affordable to imagine Stallone may have saved the movie largely the identical however with an enormous distinction—Apollo Creed may have returned to coach Rocky for his final combat ever with Mason Dixon (Antonio Tarver).

In Rocky Balboa, it is Duke (Tony Burton), Apollo’s former mentor, who comes again to coach Rocky. Apollo taking that function as an alternative would have been much more poignant, particularly with reference to what opinions Creed would have concerning the ageing brawler going through the present heavyweight champion of the world. Apollo may need thought Balboa was loopy—however then he at all times thought so—whereas secretly being envious that his previous rival was getting a ultimate probability to show himself towards Mason “The Line” Dixon. Rocky’s final probability would have been Apollo’s as effectively, and with Balboa and Creed working collectively one final time, the movie’s crowd-pleasing nostalgia issue would have gone via the roof.

Would The Creed Movies Have Happened If Apollo Lived?

Sylvester Stallone believes that if he did not kill off Apollo in Rocky IV, the Creed motion pictures won’t have occurred in any respect. However, it is seemingly that Creed was too good an concept to not make. Creed deftly melded Rocky nostalgia whereas modernizing the franchise round a youthful fighter, performed by one among Hollywood’s brightest rising stars on the time. If Apollo had lived via all the Rocky motion pictures, the primary query Creed would have needed to reply is whether or not Apollo continues to be alive or if he died earlier than the occasions of the spinoff sequence. If it is the latter, then the film may have occurred principally the identical approach, with the largest change to Creed being when Apollo died and the way it affected Adonis if he knew his father rising up.

Related: All 8 Rocky & Creed Movies Ranked, From 1976 To 2018

However, if Carl Weathers as Apollo joined Sylvester Stallone as Rocky in Creed, it will have made the movie much more dynamic. Perhaps Apollo refuses to coach his son, which makes the youthful Creed search out Rocky Balboa as his mentor. Imagine how a lot better of a fighter Adonis Creed could be if he mastered his father’s candy science in addition to Rocky’s hard-hitting counter punching. Perhaps the film may have begun with an older Apollo passing away, setting the stage for his son to enter the household enterprise in some way. There’s a mess of the way Stallone and firm may have reworked the movie to make it work.

Since Creed II concerned Ivan Drago returning along with his personal son, Viktor Drago (Florian Munteanu), Apollo’s presence may have made the movie extra of a must-see, because the ageing legend got here face-to-face with the person who practically killed him 33 years earlier. Apollo’s concern that Adonis may undergo the identical destiny or worse, probably effecting his relationship with Rocky within the course of, would have punched up Creed II‘s drama to the max. Ultimately, Sylvester Stallone is correct that the Rocky film franchise took an enormous hit when he killed off Apollo Creed, and the latter Rocky and Creed motion pictures could have been even higher if the “Count of Monte Fisto” and the “Master of Disaster” himself had been part of all of them.

Next: The Rocky Series Proved Apollo Creed Is The Best Fighter

  • Creed III (2022)Release date: Nov 23, 2022

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