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Is Sylvester Stallone Done Playing Rocky Balboa?

Sylvester Stallone might be hanging up his boxing gloves for good. 

On Wednesday, the Rocky Balboa actor posted to his Instagram account a video in which he hints he's retiring the character after playing him for 40 years across multiple films. 

In the clip, captured during his last day of filming on Creed 2, Stallone gave a short but sentimental speech. 

"Well, this is probably my last rodeo because what I thought happened, and has happened, I never expected. I thought Rocky was over in 2006 [with Rocky Balboa]. And I was very happy with that," he says. "Then all of a sudden this young man presented himself and the whole story changed. It went on to a new generation. New problems. New adventures. And I couldn't be happier as I step back because my story has been told, there's a whole new world that's going to be opening up with the audience, with this generation."

Stallone then turned his attention to Michael B. Jordan, the star who reinvigorated the Rocky franchise with his role as Adonis Creed in the spin-off film series. "Now you, have to carry the mantle," Stallone tells Jordan, lifting his hand up as if he had just won a round in the boxing ring. 

In the caption of the video, Stallone got even more emotional: "I am reposting this because there was a technical difficulty. I just want to thank everyone around the whole wide World for taking the Rocky family into their hearts for over 40 years. It's been my Ultimate privilege to have been able to create and play this meaningful character. Though it breaks my heart, Sadly all things must pass... and end. I love you Kind and generous people , and The most wonderful thing of all , is that ROCKY will never die because he lives on in you."

So, it sounds like Stallone is walking away from the Philadelphia prizefighter, but does he genuinely mean it? This is hardly the first time the actor has hinted at saying goodbye to the Rocky franchise — he previously thought Rocky Balboa would be his last ride, and before that, he assumed that 1990's Rocky V would mark Rocky Balboa's final film appearance. Stallone has done the same thing with his Rambo character, time and again saying he's done playing John Rambo, only to revive the hero for more movies, including the upcoming Rambo V: Last Blood. At this point, it looks like Stallone is to Rocky Balboa (and John Rambo, for that matter) as Jack Twist is to Ennis Del Mar: he just can't quit him for good.

With Creed 2 breaking records and making bank at the box office, it's clear that there's still room for Rocky Balboa on the big screen. If Stallone ends up changing his mind about retiring the character, at least he can return to Rocky knowing that fans aren't yet sick of him. If not, he had a fantastic run on film — and taught us all that life "ain't about how hard you hit, it's about how hard you can get hit and keep moving forward."