After the terrible “Rocky V” that was critically panned by fans and critics Sylvester Stallone was keen to atone for that and with 2006’s “Rocky Balboa” he delivered a movie that was a fitting end for the character.  Stallone made it clear he had no further plans to bring the character back to the big screen.

With nearly a decade past Rocky will be returning to the big screen with the spin-off film “Creed”. In the spin-off Rocky helps to mentor and train his late friend and rival Apollo Creed’s son Adonis (Michael B. Jordan). Stallone recently spoke with The Los Angeles Times about his initial reluctance to return to one of his most iconic roles:

“I was dead set against it… I just didn’t ever see taking this character into this realm. Finally my agent said, ‘For a guy who played Rocky, you’re kind of a chicken.”

In a fitting coincidence Stallone 69, is now the same age as Burgess Meredith was as Mickey in the first “Rocky”, which has seen the character come full circle:

“I’m now the same age Burgess Meredith was in ‘Rocky’ — isn’t that weird?” he said. “I’m the guy who’s knocking on the door going, ‘Hey, kid.’ It’s an unbelievable feeling. I’m very proud of it.”

Stallone acknowledges that Rocky doesn’t belong to him anymore, the character is enriched in pop culture and belongs to the movie goers that have sought inspiration from the character:

“How many people run up those steps?” Stallone said. “It’s incredible. Women who are eight months pregnant. People from different cultures. Intellectuals who have nothing in common with Rocky. They’re not running for Sylvester Stallone — I get that. They’re running for the Rocky in them.”

“Creed” opens November 25th and directed by Ryan Coogler (Fruitvale Station).