Rocky Movies

Rocky Characters

Rocky Movie Stars

Rocky Character Origin

Sylvester Stallone's original concept for Rocky, and the character Rocky Balboa, was inspired by his viewing of a fight between Muhammad Ali and Chuck Wepner. The idea of an underdog boxer going the distance and putting up a fierce fight against all odds appealed to Stallone. Stallone then wrote the screenplay Paradise Alley. After reading that script, producers Irwin Winkler and Robert Chartoff invited Stallone to meet them. Stallone brought up his idea for Rocky, Chartoff was impressed with the concept and he and Winkler agreed to support Stallone financially while he wrote the script, with the understanding they would get to see the script first.
Certain elements of the story were altered during filming. The original script had a darker tone: Mickey was portrayed as racist and the script ended with Rocky throwing the fight after realizing he did not want to be part of the professional boxing world after all.
Although Winkler and Chartoff were enthusiastic about the script, they were at first somewhat hesitant to allow Stallone to play the main character. The producers also had trouble casting other major characters in the story, with Adrian and Apollo Creed cast unusually late by production standards (both were ultimately cast on the same day). According to The Rocky Scrapbook, Carrie Snodgress was originally chosen to play Adrian, but a money dispute forced the producers to look elsewhere. Talia Shire's ensuing audition impressed both the producers and Stallone, who believed her appearance, acting and voice fit the part of Adrian perfectly. The character of Apollo Creed initially went to Ken Norton, but when he pulled out, Carl Weathers auditioned. Impressed with Weathers' attitude, body and voice, Stallone, along with Avildsen, Chartoff and Winkler insisted that he play the part.
Garrett Brown's Steadicam was used to accomplish a smooth shot running alongside Rocky during his training run up the flight of stairs. It was also used for some of the shots in the fight scenes, and can even be openly seen at the ringside during some wide shots of the final fight. (Rocky is often erroneously cited as the first film to use the Steadicam, although the distinction actually goes to Bound for Glory as the first production to use it. Marathon Man also has a claim, as it premiered prior to either film.) The final fight scene was filmed in reverse order, with the actors starting out in heavy make-up