Creed III: Latest Trailer, Cast, And Everything You Need To Know About The New Rocky Franchise Movie
Michael B. Jordan is back as Adonis Creed, and this time he's going toe-to-toe with Jonathan Majors. But where's Sylvester Stallone?
Since 1976, the Rocky franchise has been quintessential American mythmaking. The tale of a washed-up, down-on-his-luck boxer, who had a one-in-a-million shot to become champion of the world, won Best Picture at the Academy Awards. And although the subsequent five sequels were nowhere near as critically acclaimed, they cemented the Rocky Balboa character in pop culture, as an All-American hero that would beat up the bullies and take on the Soviet Union single-handedly. It was cheesy, jingoistic, and ridiculous, but in a way that audiences loved, especially in the 1980s.
After six Rocky movies (the last of which was a prolonged, redemptive apology for the fifth movie), most moviegoers thought the Rocky franchise was finished. But in 2015, we got Creed, which starred Michael B. Jordan as Adonis Creed, the illegitimate son of Apollo Creed. Sylvester Stallone returned as Rocky, who coaches his best friend's son. Creed was a massive success; even four decades on, the Rocky formula still captures people's imaginations.
Creed II followed in 2018, pitting Adonis against Viktor Drago, the son of Rocky IV antagonist Ivan Drago. And this year, we have Creed III--an opportunity for Donnie to define himself apart from Rocky, and perhaps take this franchise in a new direction.
Here is everything we know about Creed III so far.
When does the movie come out?
Creed III will open in theaters worldwide on March 3, 2023. Sylvester Stallone is producing it under his Balboa Productions banner.
Who is directing it?
Michael B. Jordan will make his directorial debut in Creed III. Jordan, who plays Adonis "Donnie" Creed in all three Creed films, is also known for his breakthrough roles in Fruitvale Station and the television series Friday Night Lights, and for his villainous turn as Erik Killmonger in Black Panther.
Who is writing it?
Zach Baylin (King Richard, Creed II) and Keenan Coogler (Space Jam: New Legacy) wrote the screenplay, based on a story by Baylin, Coogler, and Coogler's brother Ryan Coogler, who directed the first Creed, Fruitvale Station, Black Panther, and Black Panther: Wakanda Forever).
Who's starring in it?
Michael B. Jordan reprises his role as Adonis Creed, and Tessa Thompson returns as Bianca Taylor, his love interest and the mother of his child Amara. Jonathan Majors plays Damian "Dame" Anderson, a childhood friend of Donnie's who just got out of prison and is hungry to prove himself.
What about Sylvester Stallone?
Sylvester Stallone has publicly announced that he will not be appearing in Creed III, despite co-producing the film, and in fact will not see it in theaters. This is due to a rift between Stallone and producer Irv Winkler, who bought the Rocky rights from Stallone in 1976, when the actor was broke and desperate.
He also objects to the tone of the new movie, and said in an interview with the Hollywood Reporter that he would have made the new Creed film more upbeat:
"That’s a regretful situation because I know what it could have been. It was taken in a direction that is quite different than I would’ve taken it. It’s a different philosophy--Irwin Winkler’s and Michael B. Jordan’s. I wish them well, but I’m much more of a sentimentalist. I like my heroes getting beat up, but I just don’t want them going into that dark space. I just feel people have enough darkness."
So is the Rocky character gone for good?
No, not necessarily. Stallone wishes Michael B. Jordan well and is open to a return to the series, so long as Winkler is not involved. Winkler recently exacerbated Stallone's hurt feelings by leaving him in the dark about a proposed Drago spin-off, and also by refusing to budge on Stallone's rights to the characters he created-- even in future Rocky productions moving forward.
Who else is returning from the franchise?
Phylicia Rashad is returning as Apollo's widow, Mary Anne Creed. Wood Harris is returning as trainer Tony "Little Duke" Evers, the son of Tony "Duke" Evers, who trained Rocky and Apollo in the original films.
Both prior Creed antagonists will also star in Creed III. Tony Bellew returns as "Pretty Ricky" Conlan, and Florian Munteanu returns as Viktor Drago.
What's the plot?
Creed III jumps seven years into the future from Creed II. Donnie is riding high on the success of his boxing career, when Damian--a boxing prodigy and childhood friend who spent 18 years in prison--comes back into Donnie's life.
Viewers will recall that Donnie was on a similarly bad path when Mary Anne Creed picked him up from an LA juvenile detention center as a child. Dame's presence is sure to bring a lot of old, raw feelings back. Unlike Donnie, Dame never got his shot at glory, and the two former friends will meet up in the ring to settle their score.
Is there a trailer for Creed III?
There is, and you can watch it here.
Is this the end of the Rocky franchise?
It might be the end of the Creed era. Just plotwise, it seems like Donnie is coming full circle and he's reaching the end of his competitive prime. But is it the end of all things Rocky for good? Unlikely. We've been down that road before. If this film is successful without Stallone's direct involvement, there's no reason why MGM would end things. And even if the film series goes on hiatus, it's easy to imagine Donnie, years from now, mentoring a new, young up-and-comer. This franchise, like its protagonists, simply won't stay down.
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