Sylvester Stallone is celebrating his 75th birthday exactly one month before the veteran actor's return to the big screen. The last time we saw Stallone in theaters was for the release of the bloody action sequel Rambo: Last Blood in 2019. Movie theaters have been opening back up worldwide after shutting down last year due to the pandemic, and on Aug. 6, Stallone will make his theatrical return in the role of King Shark for James Gunn's R-rated superhero movie The Suicide Squad.
Technically, Sylvester Stallone provides the voice of the character, as Steve Agee worked as his stand-in on set. Visual effects and animation were then used to flesh out King Shark in post-production, as the character is literally a talking, man-eating shark. Stallone had previously worked with Gunn on Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 and the role of King Shark was written with the Rocky actor in mind.
"Always love working with my friend [Sylvester Stallone] & our work today on The Suicide Squad was no exception," Gunn said in an Instagram post in November, confirming Stallone's King Shark casting at the time but stopping short of revealing his character. "Despite Sly being an iconic movie star, most people still don't have any idea what an amazing actor this guy is."
Meanwhile, it remains to be seen if Stallone will ever return as Rocky Balboa in a new Rocky movie, but he's hoping for that to be the case as well. The actor will not reprise the role for the spinoff Creed II after appearing in a supporting role as Rocky in the first installment. He has, however, announced his plans to make a new Rocky movie that will bring him back to the central role.
"There's a good chance that Rocky may ride again," Stallone told Variety in 2019, also providing a basic premise for the planned sequel. "Rocky meets a young, angry person who got stuck in this country when he comes to see his sister. He takes him into his life, and unbelievable adventures begin, and they wind up south of the border. It's very, very timely."]
Sly added: "Do you tell someone that you just met in the street who's struggling and homeless to get out, or do you take him in? If you take him in, you're in trouble."
In any case, Stallone's days on the big screen are far from over. After his return to theaters in The Suicide Squad, he'll be back soon enough for the upcoming movie Samaritan. In that movie, directed by Julius Avery, a young boy (Javon Walton) seeks out a long-missing superhero (Stallone) who is believed to have gone missing two decades prior. It is described as a dark, new take on superhero movies, something that should be an easy transition for Sly after The Suicide Squad.
The Suicide Squad will be released in theaters in the United States on Aug. 6, 2021. That same day, the movie will also be made available to stream on HBO Max for 30 days. A release date has yet to be revealed for Samaritan. Ahead of his return to theaters, let us also join Sly's fans in wishing the veteran actor the very best on his 75th birthday. You can also see what some of the other fans of Stallone are saying in tribute posts on Twitter.