Rocky Balboa returns to our lives this holiday weekend with the release of Creed, the seventh movie in the nearly 40-year old franchise. This time around, Rocky (Sylvester Stallone) takes on the role of his beloved Mickey, training Adonis Johnson (Michael B. Jordan), the son of former rival turned friend, the late Apollo Creed, for a fight with the No. 1 light heavyweight in the world.
Creed, off to a great start at the box office and blessed with a 92 percent score at Rotten Tomatoes, got us thinking: How did the original Rocky, made on a shoestring back in 1976, become the iconic, franchise starter that it did?
There were several game-time decisions made both before and during the filming of the $1 million eventual Best Picture winner that wound up serving the final product well, from the re-write of the ice skating scene to the color of Rocky’s trunks to the casting of Stallone himself. What may have seemed like the filmmaker’s flying by the seat of their pants at the time wound up adding to what made the Rocky series the cultural touchstone that it remains today.
Watch the video above for a look at all the snap judgements and game-time decisions that went into building the legend of Rocky Balboa.