The world of “Rocky” goes on in the sequel film series “Creed,” even if the iconic sports film character himself, as memorably portrayed by Sylvester Stallone for decades, will no longer be around in the upcoming “Creed III.” For fans that will miss the Italian Stallion with the unyielding determination and cast-iron chin, there is always the original “Rocky” film series to go back to. Re-watching them after the release of the “Creed” movies has been a treat, to spot some elements from the former popping up in the latter. And with the news that one of the “Rocky” installments is being re-released in a director’s cut is incredibly exciting.
Now as Gamespot tells it, the hype has increased by multiples when it was recently revealed that the director’s cut for the 1985-released “Rocky IV,” first announced in August last year, will be given a more on-the-nose retitle. Say hello to “Rocky vs. Drago – The Ultimate Director’s Cut.” The new title was confirmed on social media by Sylvester Stallone himself. As the “Rocky” star says, “We shot a full length behind the scenes documentary. While re editing ROCKY 4, This is a little taste. When the film comes out it will be called. ROCKY VS DRAGO – The ultimate directors cut. Enjoy and keep punching.”
Accompanying Stallone’s Instagram post is a video showing him in action with his editing crew, poring over every second and every frame of “Rocky IV” as they turned it into the “Rocky vs. Drago” cut. In fact, their work on the director’s cut is being presented as a production in itself, a documentary called “Keep Punching: The Present Meets the Past” which will be bundled along with the recut film.
“Rocky IV” has become a key component of the film franchise especially since 2018’s “Creed II.” In the former, Sylvester Stallone’s Rocky Balboa finds himself facing the Soviet champion Ivan Drago (Dolph Lundgren) in an unsanctioned match with both political and personal stakes, as Rocky fights to avenge his rival/friend Apollo Creed’s death in Drago’s hands. In the latter, the now-aged Rocky trains the late Apollo’s son Donnie Creed (Michael B. Jordan) to fight Viktor Drago (Florian Munteanu), who is personally trained by his father Ivan. The story of “Rocky IV” is shaping up to be given a renewed polish via the “Rocky vs. Drago” director’s cut. And while it has no release date yet, it could serve to sate “Rocky” fans who are disappointed that he will not return in “Creed III,” starring and directed by Michael B. Jordan.
Image from Comic Book Resources