Veteran actor Sylvester Stallone stirred up a good deal of excitement yesterday by sharing a photo of a “Rocky” prequel treatment in his own handwriting on Instagram. To accompany the image, which offers a number of clues and ideas, he wrote “This may be the strangest posting yet. I started out this morning by writing a treatment for a Rocky prequel For streaming. Ideally 10 episodes for a few seasons to really get to the heart of the Characters in there younger years – Here is a small portion of how my creative writing Process starts…Hope it happens – And then I needed to clear my head so I went fishing… Talk about extremes! Keep punching my friends.”
The original “Rocky” film, one of Stallone’s first film roles, took home the Best Picture prize at the 1976 Academy Awards. Stallone stepped in to direct the second, third, and fourth films in the series, returning to direct and star in the sixth installment, 2005’s Rocky Balboa, after the franchise took a sixteen-year hiatus. Stallone won a Golden Globe and earned an Oscar nomination for playing Rocky once again in 2015’s Creed, the first installment in a sequel series starring Michael B. Jordan as Adonis Creed (we reported on recent news on that front here).
It’s not clear exactly what would be the focus of this series, but Stallone has a handful of suggestions. Determined to bring audiences in to explore the “most transformative generation in Modern history: The Sixties,” Stallone listed the moon landing, the sexual revolution, the New Left, hippie movement, the Cold War, and the Civil Rights Movement as possibilities. He prefaced those options with the pitch: “Imagine a time machine that will simply transport us back to the origins of Rocky, a cinematic world brimming with characters that have been beloved by people around the world for nearly five decades!”
Stallone followed up that post with a clear scan of a typed page of notes and dialogue about Rocky’s step-brother Paulie, accompanied by a bit of clarification: “I KNOW my hand writing is very awkward. But so what it achieved the goal. But I decided to show a little bit more of the creative process for the Rocky Prequel but this time it’s a lot more legible… Tell me what you think. I’m excited. MGM is excited. Hope you are too. KeepPunching.”