Sly Stallone Is Set To Narrate A Documentary About The Rocky Series
To this day, no character, story or movie series has been able to sum up the old-school ideal of fighting spirit quite like Rocky. Rocky, both as a concept and as a character, was a fighter, not only in the stories told about the boxer, but in the character's enduring appeal as a cultural icon.
Now, 40 years on from the time movie audiences first watched the Italian Stallion step into the ring, a new documentary series is set to add a new layer of depth to the historic franchise's story, from how it became one of the true great moments in sports film-making, to the way the character came to symbolise the city he was shown as living in.
The story of Rocky's production itself is as much of a fight against the odds as Balboa's own bout with Apollo Creed. Conceived and shot on a shoestring budget of just $1 million, it went on to gross $225 million globally, taking home the Academy Award for Best Picture in 1977. Inspired by watching Chuck Wepner's 15-round fight against Muhammad Ali, Sylvester Stallone claims to have written Rocky's screenplay in just three and a half days. Even some of the film's most iconic scenes, such as Rocky and Adrian's first date at the ice rink, were shot that way due to budgetary pressures.
The size of the franchise that first film went on to spawn can't be overstated. And while Rocky did eventually sink to some low points in its later films, the success of the Creed reboots starring both Stallone and Michael B. Jordan speak to Rocky's enduring ability to bounce back. 40 Years of Rocky: The Birth of a Classic will chart that story over four decades of movie-making, and will be narrated by Sly himself, which seems fitting now that it seems Balboa's time playing Rocky has come to an end.
"The documentary is a golden nugget for ‘Rocky’ fans and casual audiences alike," Johnson said. “It’s a charming piece of film history narrated by Rocky himself, Sylvester Stallone, and will give audiences an intimate, and at times, emotional experience. We’re proud of the film, and audiences can expect new stories and new footage that they’ve never seen before in a blend of director John Avildsen’s home movies, rehearsal footage, and behind-the-scenes footage from the making of the ultimate underdog film."
40 Years of Rocky: The Birth of a Classic will premiere on June 9.