The trailer for Derek Wayne Johnson‘s 40 Years of Rocky: The Birth of a Classic, which is narrated by Sylvester Stallone, seems to be mostly about the making of the original Rocky. That 1976 Oscar winner was the only “pure” entry in the long-running franchise — the only one that got everything right and a film which everyone still loves or at least likes.
The doc’s title, however, suggests that the long-running Rocky franchise (eight films including the original) will be explored. Which would be a shame. There’s nothing glorious or heart-warming about several attempts to make more money off a popular brand.
There have been seven cash-in sequels since John Avildsen‘s Rocky, written by and starring Stallone, opened on 11.21.76. The sequels are Rocky II (’79), Rocky III (’82), Rocky IV (’85), Rocky V (’90), Rocky Balboa (’06), Creed (’15 — a franchise redefiner that was almost as good as the original), and Creed II (’18).
Stallone played Rocky Balboa (a name inspired by the real-life Rocky Graziano and inspired by Robert Wise‘s Somebody Up There Likes Me) in all eight films. He wrote seven of the eight and directed four of them.
40 Years of Rocky: The Birth of a Classic will be available on-demand as of Tuesday, 6.9.
The doc features heretofore unseen pre-production and principal photography footage shot by Avildsen and others.