In 1990, as Rocky V opened to a disappointed reception from critics and fans of the underdog boxing series alike, Sylvester Stallone announced that he had had it with his iconic character. There wasn’t much more to tell, he confessed, and he didn’t want to tarnish the legacy of the earlier films any further. Smash cut to 2006: Stallone’s admitting that his Rocky V script had been a disservice to the franchise, and that he’d like another shot at the title. His Rocky Balboa debuts to somewhat positive reviews, and as it winds up, Stallone announces that he’s done with Rocky for real this time. There’s nothing more to say about this character, his many boxing matches, or the spirit of sportsmanlike resilience that guides athletes to championships.

So, stop us if you‘ve heard this one before: it’s now 2016, yet another Rocky picture has dealt the box-office a swift uppercut, and Stallone is done, seriously, you’ll see, he means it now. Variety reports that during a speech at the Santa Barbara International Film Festival last night, Stallone vocalized his reluctance to revisit the Rocky Balboa character, which means that we’ll have another Rocky film in about five or six years. More specifically:

I really have mixed feelings about this, seriously… I feel like Rocky, at the end of this movie on the steps, with the help of a young man, and he looks out and says, ‘From here, you can see your whole life’ — it sort of summarizes the whole thing. I don’t know how much further you can push Rocky.

He‘s right, in that any new project surrounding the character would necessarily involve him eating prunes, or massaging his muscles to ensure they don‘t atrophy, or something equally sad. But it’s when it appears that Rocky can’t be pushed any further that he always finds a store of strength he never knew he had and punches through, so it’s hard to believe Stallone’s statements. He’ll come crawling back. He always does.

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