The 74-year-old actor created the character of Rocky Balboa in the 1970s and previously played a starring role in the first two "Creed" films - but a spokesperson for the actor told The Hollywood Reporter he'll be absent from the upcoming movie - although no additional explanation was offered.
Stallone first appeared as the underdog fighter in 1976's "Rocky" and subsequently established the character as one of the most iconic in recent cinema history.
He reprised the role for the "Creed" franchise as Rocky became a mentor to Michael B. Jordan's character, Adonis 'Donnie' Creed.
In fact, his performance in the first "Creed" movie led to an Oscar nomination for Best Supporting Actor, as both of the "Creed" movies proved to be critical and commercial successes.
Jordan is confirmed to take double duty for the upcoming third installment. The film, which is scheduled to hit cinema screens at the end of 2022, will be his directorial debut.
"Directing has always been an aspiration, but the timing had to be right," he said. "Creed III is that moment - a time in my life where I've grown more sure of who I am, holding agency in my own story, maturing personally, growing professionally, and learning from the Greats like Ryan Coogler, most recently Denzel Washington, and other top tier directors I respect. All of which sets the table for this moment."
This franchise and in particular the themes of Creed III are deeply personal to me. I look forward to sharing the next chapter of Adonis Creed's story with the awesome responsibility of being its director and namesake."