Just when we’d given up hope of the return of Sylvester Stallone’s iconic character Rocky Balboa, it turns out negotiations have started for him to write and star in Rocky VII.
The star had very publicly announced the retirement of the character last year, but in a recent interview with Variety, he’s revealed that a seventh chapter of the franchise is being developed.
The latest film is said to see Balboa take a young street fighter under his wing, who is living illegally in the US.
He explained: “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.”
Apparently creators are negotiating with Stallone, hoping for him to write the script as well as star in it, with the actor saying he’s played the character for so long he feels a deep connection with the fictional boxer.
“It’s like my brother,” he says. “It’s the only voice that I can say what I want without being ridiculed, or being silly, or being precious or sentimental, because he is that way.
“Rocky can’t keep quiet. He just talks and talks and spills his guts. And as a writer, if you do that quite often, it looks as though you’re just lost in the world of exposition.
“But he’s actually saying something, and because of the way he speaks and his naivety and gentle quality, you listen. Rocky can say things that my other characters can never say.”
Stallone had actually said he was retiring the boxing champ character after Creed II, which was released in 2018.
After the 40 years of fans watching and re-watching the Philadelphia boxer slug it out in countless heavyweight bouts, whether it was his titanic tussle with Apollo Creed in the 1977 original or his bitter Cold War clash with the Herculean Ivan Drago in Rocky IV.
The muscle-bound brawler then made a surprising come back in 2006 film Rocky Balboa,which saw the ageing boxer still grieving over the death of his beloved wife, Adrian.
He captioned the post: “Yo, due to the overwhelming and loving response to this wonderful character I just want to say one last final farewell… Thank you again from the bottom of BOTH our hearts…”
Thankfully for fans, he’s changed his mind. Cue training montage.