Rocky Balboa is a cinematic icon. The 1976 story of a smalltime boxer making it from rags to riches has generated decades of films for Sylvester Stallone's beloved character, most recently with the spinoff Creed.
Recently, Stallone shared a never-before-seen photo from the Rocky set on Instagram, and it was met with such a positive reaction from fans that he's sharing even more. Many of scenes from the Rocky films were lost because the studio accidentally burned the outtakes, so these rare images give Rocky fans an inside look into the making the Oscar-winning films.
In this first post, Stallone shares a photo of Rocky in the ring. He also reveals:
"many many body shots were real."
Stallone has previously talked about the harsh injury that he acquired from real-life black-belt fighter, Dolph Lundgren, who plays Drago. The actual punch from Lundgren caused Stallone's heart to crash against his breastbone, which generated swelling and his blood pressure escalated. Stallone was rushed to the hospital and stayed in the ICU for eight days.
Here, Stallone poses next to Burgess Meredith, who plays Mickey Goldmill in the films. Mickey, a retired boxer, trains Rocky for his fight against heavyweight champion, Apollo Creed.
Stallone not only starred in the film, but he wrote the first drafts. Originally, he had written Mickey as an bitter old man and a racist, but thankfully, that was changed when the script was purchased and rewritten by Irwin Winkler and Robert Chartoff.
Stallone comments in this photo's caption on the strange occurrences that would happen on set. While filming Rocky IV, someone from the audience actually ran up to Stallone so he could get punched!
In Rocky IV, singer James Brown performs "Living In America" for Apollo Creed's over-the-top entrance into the ring. Stallone captions the picture with:
"Directing the legendary James Brown as the Drago impatiently looks on , ready to get it on with Apollo Creed! Floyd vs Connor! Life imitating fantasy?"
Carl Weathers reportedly threatened to quit the film after Lundgren knocked him back three feet into the corner of the ring. Ouch.
In this rare shot from 1985's Rocky IV, Stallone shows Rocky's commitment to take out his rival, Captain Ivan Drago, even in-between takes! Despite Lundgren playing the antagonist and accidentally injuring his coworkers on set, he has been praised by Stallone to be "a great guy and dedicated worker."
Clearly the actors had an extreme level of commitment. Perhaps this dedication is the reason why the Rocky films have remained a staple in the film industry over the past few decades. Stallone routinely uploads photos to his Instagram account, so stay tuned for more fun facts about his days filming the legendary Rocky series.