Creed III will not only continue the story that originated with the Rocky franchise, but will also mark the directorial debut of its star Michael B. Jordan. This third installment will once again portray the life of Adonis Creed and the upcoming fight with one of his greatest adversaries: Damien Anderson.

The actor opened up about his first behind-the-scenes experience and said, "I felt it was the right time. I talked it over with Ryan Coogler, the producer of the film, and he said 'the conditions are never right, so do it". It will be one of the most special projects of his career in the film industry.

But something that caught a lot of attention was the absence of the most important character of all: Rocky Balboa. That's right, Sylvester Stallone will not be in the new movie. He was the main character in the first two films and in both of them he was Adonis' mentor and trainer. So his unexpected departure was something that hit the cast and the production quite hard.

Creed III: Sylvester Stallone says no to Rocky Balboa

For the first time in several years, the Oscar-nominated actor has turned down the offer to reprise his legendary character (who made him famous) Rocky in the new installment of Creed. The movie is scheduled to be released on March 3, 2023 and when Stallone was asked through a comment on instagram about his presence in it, the actor said "It will be made, but I will not participate".

Not much is known about his unexpected departure, but rumor has it that he decided to leave the production in order for the 35-year-old actor to become the new face of the franchise. Michael B. Jordan made sure to make it clear that everyone bid him a fond farewell.

During an interview with IGN, Jordan confirmed: "Sly already made it known that he's not coming back for this one, but I think, you know, his essence and his spirit... there's always going to be something of Rocky in Adonis. But this is the Creed franchise, and we really want to build this story and this world around him in the future. So there will always be respect and huge amounts of love for what he did, but we really want to push and navigate Adonis forward along with the family that he's created".

After 45 years with us, we may not hear Eye of the Tiger anymore, but history continues on its way and is more alive than ever. It's time to get back in the ring and ring the bells.