There’s no strong-willed, determined, underdog story better told than Rocky Balboa of The Rocky franchise. The hard-hitting, diligent southpaw and his films have been a core part of film history for decadesbut there are still many facts and aspects of the movies that fans don’t know.
10/10 The almost nocturnal creation of the film
As an unknown and struggling 70s New York actor, writer and actor Sylvester Stallone found inspiration to write Rocky after seeing a fight with the legendary Muhammad Ali earlier that year. With some screenwriting experience, Stallone got to work and wrote the screenplay in just three days in a battered Mead notebook.
However, the original storyline had many major differences from the version of the story that fans know today, such as the ethnicities and origins of many of the characters and even the main plot endings. Either way, fans are grateful that the story was born to begin with.
9/10 Rocky almost wasn’t Rocky
After pitching the script to various studios, producers Irwin Winkler and Robert Chartoff liked the script so much that they eventually offered Stallone $265,000 for the rights, but with one important condition: the main character of Rocky would be played by a leading actor.
With only $106 in his bank account, Stallone repeatedly refused to sell the rights if he couldn’t play Rocky, which the studio eventually agreed to. It’s hard to imagine anyone else like the Italian stallion, but thanks to Stallone’s real-life tiger eye, fans will never have to.
8/10 Stallone has really gone the distance
After the first Rocky movie, fans saw the title character lose in a draw to defending champion Apollo Creed in their fight, only for both fighters to start training for a rematch in Rocky II. In the movie, one of Rocky’s training methods, between drinking raw eggs (don’t knock it out until you try it!) and training hard at Mick’s gym, was his long runs around his town. native of Philadelphia.
One of these races, in particular, became incredibly iconic not only for fans of the films, but also for the townspeople at the time of filming. The iconic run was a whopping thirty miles, all done within a day of filming. The run also included hundreds of child extras who joined Rocky on his run to the Philadelphia Museum of Art.
7/10 Michael B. Jordan’s Creed KO
Much like his boxing predecessor and co-star Stallone in his films, Michael B. Jordan suffered a real knockout during filming in 2015 shoutDa revival of the Rocky franchise that featured the main character as a mentor to Apollo Creed’s son, Adonis Creed.
The knockout, which Jordan actually wore as a badge of honor on set, was something of a rite of passage for Rocky boxers, as Stallone claimed to have backed one in every boxing scene he was in.
6/10 Hospitalized Drago Stallone’s Dolph Lundgren
In movies like the Rocky movies, on-set injuries are a given. However, one of the injuries that occurred during the filming of Rocky IV exceeded the gravity of anything that had yet happened. While filming the first round of Rocky and Drago’s iconic fight in Russia, Lundgren accidentally punched Stallone so hard in his chest cavity that the wound began to swell rapidly.
Apparently, if Stallone hadn’t been treated, the injury would have caused his heart to swell and the actor to have died. In real life or not, the Siberian bull is not a force to be played with.
5/10 The bell almost rang for Rocky in Rocky V
Although fans can no longer imagine a world without the franchise continuing, the original plan was for Balboa to die at the end of the series’ fifth installment. The film, which was to be the series’ conclusion, saw the character die at the hands of outraged and rebellious protege Tommy Gunn in their epic end-scene street fight.
Stallone reportedly broke down in tears trying to finish writing this ending, but was stopped two weeks into filming by director John Avildsen who informed him that Rocky “could never die”.
4/10 Adrian wasn’t Adrian either
Much like the studios’ desire for Rocky to be played by another actor, the casting process for Rocky’s love interest Adrian was an equally difficult undertaking. The character was originally going to be portrayed by Carrie Snodgrass, who backtracked due to salary disagreements.
Although many other actresses, including Bette Midler or Cher, it was Talia Shire who stepped in and agreed to portray the character, which is good because fans couldn’t imagine anyone else playing Adrian, encouraging, loving and faithful.
3/10 Fans can thank Rocky III for Eye Of The Tiger
After planning to use The Karate Kidit is “You’re the Best” by Joe Esposito (and Asking Queen in vain) for the intro montage of Rocky III, the negotiations would have failed. However, Stallone then contacted the Chicago rock band Survivor via voicemail in hopes that they would be willing to collaborate on a number for the film.
Collaborate, they did, as the band produced the iconic hit “Eye of the Tiger” for the intro sequence which has now retired into one of the most timeless hits (and timeless edits) of the history of music and cinema.
2/10 goodbye rocky
After Creed’s massive world title win at the end of Creed II, Rocky Balboa is symbolically shown waving to Adonis as his back is shown to the audience, and he gazes up at his apprentice. It’s a dark moment that “It’s Your Time” by Ludwig Goranssan plays, and the scene unfolds, and Rocky takes off his hat.
The purpose of this scene would be curtains on Rocky for the fans, as Stallone recounts. Although the actor has affirmed his departure from the character several times in the past, it seems that this time Rocky Balboa is really down for the count.
1/10 Jordan enters the directors ring for Creed III
Michael B. Jordan would make his directorial debut in Creed IIIreleased in March 2023. The film, which will be the first of nine Rocky franchise films that don’t feature Stallone as a main character in any capacity will only be an Adonis Creed story feature.
The film, which will introduce a new Creed villain played by Johnathan Majors, will be a new movie for fans of the series everywhere. Although it’s going to be heartbreaking to miss Rocky, it’s time for a new underdog story take the stage and hold the belt.