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The star, who turned 75 on Tuesday, said in a previous interview about his iconic boxing film that his first take on the character was all wrong.
Having been inspired by Chuck Wepner’s impressive fight against Muhammad Ali in 1975, Stallone said he went on a “writing frenzy,” which produced a 90-page script in three days. “And maybe 10 percent of it remained the final script. But it was done,” Stallone said then.
Rocky Balboa was written to be so dark to be in fashion of the anti-hero films of the time. And the story was so bleak, the ending was shockingly different.
“The character was very dark. As a matter of fact, he throws the fight at the very end,” Stallone said. “And Mickey [Burgess Meredith] himself turns out to be this very angry, racist man. And the reason Rocky throws the fight is because he doesn’t want to be involved in this kind of world. He says, “I would just rather be who I was and just have all this hatred around me and so on.'”
Stallone said the first person he showed the script to was his then-wife, Czack. “And she goes. ‘Oh. I don’t like it. Rocky seems so nasty’ … because I had made him very street-like and unrepentant. He did not have the attitude that he eventually ended up with. So I went back and re-wrote and re-wrote.”
And the rest is film history.
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