That Creed franchise has successfully built on the foundation established by Rocky film that masterfully brings classic characters back into the modern series of films. Ivan Drago, the Russian antagonist from Rocky IVis now set for its own film, potentially opening up another franchise within the wider world of Rocky.
Yet one character has been conspicuously absent from the franchise for the past 40 years: rowdy powerhouse Clubber Lang.
Lang, played by Mr. T in the 1982s Rocky III, was George Foreman and Muhammad Ali wrapped into one, an explosive fighter whose brute force was exceeded only by his trash talk. Sir. T, a bodyguard turned actor turned star of the role, embodies the brash Lang and became the most memorable aspect of the film.
So why hasn’t he been seen since Rocky III?
“I had written an elaborate story for Mr. T (aka Clubber Lang), which was reminiscent of George Foreman, who became a ringside analyst,” explained the star and screenwriter. “In the script he did blow-by-blow commentary and also talked about his new profession as an evangelist in the making. I thought it was wonderful because he described what it was like to fight Rocky Balboa while Rocky was fighting somebody. other things.”
Stallone noted that the production “could not meet the actor’s financial demands”, so the part was rewritten for someone else.
Years later, Langs considered returning once again.
“I’m not going to lie. There was a moment where I got pretty stingy and thought about Clubber Lang. I thought, ‘Dang, wouldn’t it be cool if we got Clubber Lang?’ Steven Caple Jr., Director for 2018 Creed IIadmitted Uproxx. “And I think there was a version of this [Creed star Michael B. Jordan] also talked about it. Like [Lang] having a daughter or something like that out West or New Mexico. We played with many different ideas.”
Although Caple described Lang as an “interesting character” that he was tempted to revisit, the filmmaker chose not to bring the boxer back.
Some have speculated that Mr. T’s absence from the world Rocky has been due to lingering bad blood between him and Stallone.
“My dad has a chip on his shoulder about Stallone,” said Mr. T’s daughter, comedian Erica Clark, revealed in a 2020 appearance on the In Godfrey We Trust podcast. According to Clark, Mr. T felt he was underpaid Rocky III and also believed that history should have gone differently.
“He feels he should have been involved Rocky IV. He wants to [Rocky III] should have ended with him beating Stallone, like how first ended up with Apollo beating Stallone,” Clark said. She also claimed that her father turned down opportunities to appear in the Stallone front. The expendables and The expenses II because he still harbored enmity Rocky III: “Mentally, he doesn’t want to lose to Stallone again.”
But Mr. T himself has insisted he retains “a lot of respect” for Stallone and has kept in touch with the star. “I used to go to the Lakers games a lot and I used to see him,” the actor recalled during a 2021 appearance on Then the Windy City podcast. “During the break we met in the hallway, around the concessions, then we talked, hugged each other, things like that.”
Creed IIIthe latest installment in the franchise, is set for a 2023 release. Stallone will not be returning for the film, making it the first time Rocky has not appeared in a Rocky-related film. Still, unconfirmed rumors have persisted that the Lang character, or possibly his son, may somehow play a role in the plot. Either way, it seems Mr. T is unlikely to return.
“That would be too strange,” the former The A team star explained to Pop culture in 2021. “Look, I’m a Clubber for Rocky, if Rocky was there. So, I just don’t know. I wanted to be weird and stuff. My best part is just supporting it.”
‘Rocky’ movies ranked
Much like the life of the fictional fighter, the Rocky films have experienced both ups and downs. We’ve ranked them all from worst to best.