‘Creed’ Premiere: Sylvester Stallone on Oscar Buzz and Future of ‘Rocky’ Franchise

Creed premiere Sylvester Stallone Michael B
Chelsea Lauren/Variety/Rex Shutterstock

It’s been almost 40 years since “Rocky” first premiered, but you’d never guess it watching Sylvester Stallone strut down the black carpet premiere of “Creed” at the Regency Village Theater in Westwood on Thursday night.

Stallone, 69, reunited with former “Rocky” franchise stars like Dolph Lundgren and Carl Weathers, while throwing jabs with newbies Michael B. Jordan and director Ryan Coogler.

“It was a huge leap of faith,” Stallone said about putting “Rocky” in the hands of a director who’d only done one film prior, “Fruitvale Station.”

“Either you let Rocky go out into the sunset or you believe in youth and a young kid’s ambition, and I thought I’ve been wrong so many times in my life, I don’t want to be wrong again,” Stallone said.

Telling the story of Apollo Creed’s son Adonis (played by Jordan) as he teams up with Rocky Balboa to train, the film had audience members cheering and applauding — especially for the producers who’ve restarted their franchise.

“It was completely unexpected that this would happen,” said producer Charles Winkler, son of original producer Irwin Winkler who was also in attendance. “And we very well may be taking the franchise out now into the future.”

Next to his wife Jennifer Flavin and his daughters, Stallone watched the film alongside stars like Arnold Schwarzenegger, Angela Bassett and Miles Teller, as well as legendary boxers Sugar Ray Leonard and Oscar de la Hoya.

Coogler brought his father as his date because he was his inspiration for making the film in the first place. “The biggest pressure was internal,” he said, “I didn’t want to let my dad down because he loves these movies so much.”

The gigantic after-party was held in a tented parking lot nearby with hanging punching bags and a menu of Philadelphia favorites including cheesesteak and soft pretzels, something Jordan hasn’t eaten in quite a long time, due to his strict fitness regiment.

“I eventually enjoyed it,” Jordan joked about the diet he was on while shooting this film. “At first, it was rough, but hey, if you eat brown rice, chicken and broccoli for 10 or 11 months, your body will change.”

The smell of cheesesteak wasn’t the only thing in the air that night — as early reviews for Stallone’s performance have generated Oscar buzz.

“Just from the trailer, it seems to be the best work he’s ever done. He hits it out of the park, and if there’s a vote, I’ll be voting for him,” said Weathers, who played Apollo Creed in the previous films.

Added Winkler, “The talk has happened without us having to boost it at all, and deservedly so. We know Sylvester Stallone as an action star, but we forget he started as a character actor.”

However, according to Stallone himself, it’s the director who should get credit for any award nominations in his future. “I think it’s because of what this young man and has done and how he directed it. He just put me in a good light,” laughed Stallone.

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  1. Kstewart says:

    Boo hiss Sylvester Stallone is a winner in my book !! Creed was my favorite movie of all the other ones nominated . All of his rocky movies and creed have touched everyone who has watched them I think he is brilliant and surely deserves an Oscar for all the rocky movies people watch over and over and never get sick of them he gave people hope and inspiration. I think every single one of his movies make me cry or have touched me in some way so to me sly you are a winner and thank you for all your truly wonderful movies all of them and may God bless you and your family

  2. Denise Harlow says:

    We loved the movie die hard fans make a sequel it was dynamite thanks Sly you and Michael Jr were awesome an old Rocky fan Denise Harlow ..keep up the great movies

  3. Spider says:

    Sly kicked ass. Great performance. It would be awesome if he got an Academy Award nomination……..and won! The flick was pretty good. Kudos to Coogler and Jordan, as well……….Would have really been cool and inspiring to have Paulie in this too, to trade barbs with Jordan’s character.

  4. alan zaitz says:

    OMG…….just saw creed…….Stallone was pitch perfect !…….He paid homage to the franchise alluding
    to some great lines from the original (they added a few more steps as he climbed the steps to the
    statue of Rocky)…..While watching the movie it was obvious the his performance is Oscar worthy

  5. ob1detroit says:

    Wow! Go Sly! He was robbed of the Oscar in 76 by a dead man, so I’d say that it’s payback time for him.

  6. wayne allen says:

    Can’t wait to see this movie.ever since I heard he was making it a while ago.sly is a legend,brilliant actor in my eyes.rocky IV was the best film for me.don’t like the negative comments being said about him and the film.negativity equals jealousy.

  7. Cast member says:

    I thought this was a very good movie,excellent in fact,between the experience of sly and the tallent of Ryan coogler,they pulled the movie to the 21st century to suit today’s audience’s and did a great job in doing so,all, all I can say is good job 👍can’t wait for the sequel 👍

  8. jimmy woo says:

    All this “Oscar Hype”is paid for by Sylvester Stallone. This movie is horrible from beginning to end. It just goes to show, you can buy anything in this town.

    Disgraceful. Save your money….and your pride.

  9. Bill B. says:

    Oscar buzz for this mediocre talent!? Well, maybe after playing the role 7 times he finally got it right?! What an embarrassment his name would be on an Oscar winning list. Think of the talents who have never won an Oscar and then think of this dude’s career. Looking forward to The Expendables 23!

  10. TEP says:

    It’s outstanding. Congratulations to all in the making of this wonderful film. My friend Sly, you still got it.

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