Rocky Balboa, written, directed by and starring Sylvester Stallone, will be distributed in the United States and Canada by Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Studios Inc. (MGM), it was announced today by Revolution Studios partner Tom Sherak.

Rocky Balboa represents a unique three way partnership between Revolution Studios, Sony Pictures Entertainment and MGM. Since the Rocky series was originally distributed by MGM, the partners jointly decided that the film could and should take advantage of MGM's newly reinvigorated domestic distribution apparatus.

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"We are extremely excited about what Sylvester Stallone has brought to this latest chapter in the life of one of America's most beloved screen characters," said Sherak "and it seems only right that Rocky is back at the studio where it all began."

"We're thrilled to be adding such a high caliber movie to our studio's revitalized domestic distribution business," said Rick Sands, Chief Operating Officer, MGM. "Historically speaking, the Rocky franchise, with its loyal fan base and incredible brand recognition, will be an added benefit in greasing the wheels of MGM's newly reinvigorated distribution machine. Plus, this movie, like all the Rocky movies in the franchise, will have a big appeal with family audiences, making it a perfect film for a holiday release."

"All three partners involved in this project are tremendously excited with this new film and Sony is thrilled to be handling international distribution of the motion picture as well as home entertainment on a worldwide basis," said Jeff Blake, Columbia TriStar Motion Picture Group's chairman of worldwide marketing and distribution.

Rocky Balboa is the next story in the saga of Philadelphia boxer Rocky Balboa, one of Hollywood's most beloved characters.

Long since retired, and with his beloved Adrian passed away and his grown son too busy to spend time with him, Philadelphia's favorite boxer is a lonely man. Running a small restaurant in his old neighborhood, Rocky passes the time by recounting stories of his glory days to his patrons.

To keep himself busy and in shape, he decides to step back into the ring against a few small-time boxers in local gyms. When an ESPN sports show runs a simulated fight between Balboa and the current champ, Mason "The Line" Dixon, Balboa wins, prompting a resurgence of interest in his illustrious career.

Presented with the opportunity to fight one last exhibition fight, Rocky accepts the challenge, despite the protests of his friends and family. Facing a powerful champion, personal tragedy and ultimately his own doubts, Rocky steps into the ring one last time to prove that he still has the heart of a champion.