In any discussion of an old film franchise finding new life with a solid distant sequel, one might bring up 2015’s “Creed.” This sports drama sees Sylvester Stallone go back to being legendary movie-verse boxer Rocky, taking on a new apprentice in Adonis (Michael B. Jordan) the son of his departed rival/friend Apollo Creed, long after the end of his own story in 2006’s “Rocky Balboa.” The tale of the master and student, masterfully portrayed by Stallone and Jordan under the direction of Ryan Coogler, led to a 2018 sequel featuring the return of Rocky foe Ivan Drago (Dolph Lundgren) with his son. A sequel was planned, with the rumor that Jordan himself might direct.
That rumor has been confirmed as of Wednesday, March 10, according to The Hollywood Reporter, as Michael B. Jordan confirmed that he will be directing himself and the cast of “Creed II,” the third chapter in the story of Apollo Creed’s boxer son, under MGM Pictures. As if that was not enough, the studio also announced that Jordan will be among the producers of the film, which has been slated to release in late 2022.
Jordan explained in his official statement that he has always aspired to direct a movie, and only waited for the right time and project. “Creed III is that moment,” he declares. “A time in my life where I’ve grown more sure of who I am, holding agency in my own story, maturing personally, growing professionally, and learning from the Greats.” The “Creed” star went on to name his directorial role models. Ryan Coogler was there naturally, having directed the first movie of the growing “Creed” franchise as well as the well-received “Black Panther” in 2018. Jordan also mentioned Denzel Washington, who is a veteran actor with several directing credits himself.
Coogler was director on the first “Creed” while Stephen Caple Jr. took over for “Creed II.” Together the “Rocky” spinoff-sequels have made around $400 million in the global box office. Rumors that Michael B. Jordan will make his filmmaking debut in “Creed III” began circulating in October 2020 at earliest.
Also returning with Jordan’s Creed in the latest film is Tessa Thompson as his wife Bianca and Phylicia Rashad as Mary Anne, Adonis’ stepmother and Apollo’s widow. There has been no word yet if Sylvester Stallone is also on board as Rocky and Creed’s coach for the movie, which again is premiering November 23, 2022.
Image courtesy of USA Today