Carl Weathers to appear in Super Bowl ad just weeks after his death

Carl Weathers will appear in an advertisement during the NFL Super Bowl, online sports-betting company FanDuel has confirmed.

The Rocky star died in his sleep at his Los Angeles home on 1 February aged 76.

As it did last year, the commercial will focus on former NFL star Rob Gronkowski’s attempts to kick a field goal. Weathers had already appeared in a teaser for the ad, picking a crestfallen Gronkowski up on a motorbike after his failed field goal attempt last year.

After news of the Happy Gilmour star’s death broke, FanDuel indicated that it planned to make adjustments to its advertisement.

However, on Tuesday (6 February), Andrew Sneyd, FanDuel’s executive vice president of marketing, confirmed to Variety that Weathers will still appear.

The company has been in contact with Weathers’ survivors, and while some adjustments to the commericial will be made, Sneyd said: “The family has been very supportive that they would still like to see Carl in the work.

“We need to change what we are doing in the Bowl. The live event itself carries forward and as is. Rob will kick the field goal and he will be even more inspired to make it. He really enjoyed meeting Carl and found him to be such an optimistic and energetic person.”

Sneyd added: “We had built a master. One is an edit if he makes the kick and we have an edit if he misses. That content we had in those masters wouldn’t be appropriate for us to do any more.

“Since the news of Carl’s passing came, we have been working with editors to help us get back to something that does make sense.

“We have been viewing edits through tears. We really enjoyed the short time we had to work with him. He’s a wonderful man and he genuinely is an inspiration and had such a positive outlook on the world. We want to make sure we try to meet this moment with the respect it deserves.”

Born in New Orleans, Louisiana, on 14 January 1948, Weathers had a short career in the NFL and the Canadian Football League before pursuing acting.

His first significant on-screen roles were in the 1975 films Bucktown and Friday Foster, both directed by his longtime friend Arthur Marks.

It was shortly after that, that he was cast as Apollo Creed, the main antagonist in Rocky (1976)and Rocky II (1979), opposite Sylvester Stallone’s titular boxer Rocky Balboa.

He then memorably starred as CIA agent Dillon alongside Arnold Schwarzenegger in the 1986 sci-fi classic, Predator, and Derick “Chubbs” Peterson in Adam Sandler’s 1996 comedy hit Happy Gilmore.

Following his death, Sandler saluted Weathers as “a true great man. Great dad. Great actor. Great athlete”.

Recently, Weathers became known for his portrayal of High Magistrate Greef Karga in three seasons of the Star Wars spin-off series The Mandalorian.

Weathers is survived by his two sons, Jason and Matthew, whom he shares with his ex-wife Mary Ann Castle.