By Patrick Shanley
Creed, the latest film in the Rocky franchise, opens today bolstered by a 95% rating on Rotten Tomatoes. The film is anchored by strong performances from 28-year-old Michael B. Jordan, who stars as boxer Adonis Johnson, the son of late boxer and former Rocky Balboa rival, Apollo Creed, and Sylvester Stallone, who returns for the seventh time to the role that earned him the only two Oscar nominations in his career and made him a star nearly 40 years ago.
39 years ago, in 1976, Stallone premiered the first film in the pugilistic franchise and it paid off in big dividends for the then-30-year-old actor. In addition to a best actor nomination that year, Stallone also earned a nomination for best original screenplay, becoming only the third person in history to earn nominations for both starring in and writing the same film. If that wasn’t enough, the original Rocky also won best picture over Martin Scorsese’s Taxi Driver and Sidney Lumet’s Network.
As has been noted before in the case for Harrison Ford’s chances at a supporting actor nomination, Stallone may also benefit from his age and the nostalgic sensibilities of older Academy voters which, of course, are buoyed by his strong performance in Creed.
If Stallone does manage to earn a nomination for his performance, he will have experienced the longest timespan between nominations for the same character in the history of the Oscars.