It’s been nine years since Rocky Balboa, and THIRTY-NINE years since the first Rocky, and Stallone is back in the role for Creed (in cinemas on Jan 15th), playing the ageing trainer to the son of his best friend, Apollo. It’s a perfect circle of storytelling within the series – Rocky has essentially become Paulie – and early word has it that Stallone is so great in the role, there’s buzz of Oscars and plenty of talk that this is the performance that Stallone can actually, y’know, ACT! So in honour of his mighty return, here’s a few of our other favourite actor comebacks through the years!

JOHN TRAVOLTA in Pulp Fiction

Prior to the Tarantino-assisted career revival, Travolta was stuck doing Look Who’s Talking sequels and awful TV movies like Eyes Of An Angel or Boris & Natasha. Once the world seen him as Vincent Vega however, he was suddenly the hottest property in Hollywood. Broken Arrow, Get Shorty, Face/Off, Mad City, Primary Colours, A Civil Action, The Thin Red Line and The General’s Daughter all helped solidify his resurgence. And then he goes and spoils it all with Battlefield Earth in 2000 and he’s been kind of off the boil ever since.

MICKEY ROURKE in The Wrestler

‘80s heartthrob Rourke gave up a successful acting career to become a boxer, and Hollywood duly turned it’s back on him, which is code for “cast as the villain in a Jean-Claude Van Damme movie”. However, even before his Oscar-nominated turn in Darren Aranofsky’s drama, he was already putting the leg work in with some scene-stealing supporting turns in Sin City, Domino and Once Upon A Time In Mexico. Despite some high-profile roles in Iron Man 2 and Sin City: A Dame To Kill For, Rourke is now firmly back in direct-to-DVD clunkers like WEAPONiZED and Blunt Force Trauma.


ROBERT DOWNEY JR. in Kiss Kiss Bang Bang

While many may place Downey’s return to the limelight firmly at Zodiac in 2007, or the 2008 double-whammy of Iron Man and Tropic Thunder, you actually have to go back to 2005 for this scalpel-sharp scripted comedy-thriller. Downey’s drug issues halted a promising career in the ‘90s and again during his relapse in the ‘00s, but his fast-talking con-man Harry Lockhart has basically been the blueprint for every character he’s played since then, including all of the Iron Men sequels and Avengers movies, the Sherlock Holmes franchise, as well as the slightly less successful likes of Due Date and The Judge.



Having found fame and fortune at a very young age with E.T., the effect it had on her was apparent when she was admitted to rehab for her drug problem, aged 13. Some vague hits in the early-to-mid ‘90s (Batman Forever, Wayne’s World 2, Poison Ivy) lead the way to her stealing the show with the horrific opening scene to Wes Craven’s meta-horror. Since then she’s become one of Hollywood’s go-to rom-com queens (The Wedding Singer, Never Been Kissed, He’s Just Not That Into You) and become a successful producer in her own right, providing a guiding hand behind everything from Charlie’s Angels to Donnie Darko to Whip It.

BEN AFFLECK in Gone Baby Gone

Okay, so he wasn’t actually in this movie (although his brother Casey was), but this was still the first step towards career redemption for Ben after the run of Gigli, Daredevil, Surviving Christmas, Paycheck and Pearl Harbour. Since then, he’s won an Oscar for producing Argo (which he also directed and starred in), received universal acclaim for the likes of The Town and Gone Girl, and he’s soon to be our new Bruce Wayne in Batman VS Superman: Dawn Of Justice.

CREED hits cinemas on Jan 15th