9. Balboa And The Future…
"I felt obligated to try and end the series the way it should have ended. I was very negligent with 1990's Rocky V. It just didn't leave anyone with any sense of hope," Stallone told Entertainment Weekly.
"It was very reflective of where I was at the time. So, it bothered me. And then around '96, I thought, Oh, I want to approach Hollywood with the idea.
"And they said, basically, never. I kept going back and visiting and there was a certain studio head that wanted no part of it. So, at that time MGM was just not interested and I thought, This is never going to happen. Then, as fate would have it, MGM was sold to Sony, new people in, and that was it."
For Stallone, it was a chance to clear the air finally. "I think a lot of people got stuff in the basement and they never get to vocalize it. And when you get older, you get less of a forum to speak. It's like, oh you had your moment, time to move on. I thought, now it's really starting to be an interesting premise.
"Taking that personal journey, dealing with grief. I thought we had a weighty story."
Shortly after he made Rocky Balboa, Stallone was approached by the National Museum of American History to enshrine Rocky in their archives.
The scrappy fighter truly had become part of the culture. "Rocky, of course, is part of everybody. I don't claim ownership anymore," Stallone told a press conference in Washington. "The reason the story worked is because all of us have a need to feel fulfillment in their life. That battle never ends. And that's why I put him in the body of a boxer."
But he'll never forget his early days with him… "Every day, I truly miss that character so much, some times I could just cry. Because I'll never have a character like that again, where I could just speak whatever I feel in my heart.
"That's the one thing I'll always cherish about that character, because if I say it, you won't believe it, but when Rocky says it was the truth…"
Rocky: The Undisputed Collection is out now on Blu-ray.
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