By Randall Rydell Rusell
Michael B. Jordan is a rising star in Hollywood. After starting out in the 2001 sports drama
Hardball alongside Keanu Reeves and many stints on television programs like All My Children, the hit
football drama Friday Night Lights , and a memorable role as Haddie’s ex-alcoholic boyfriend Alex on the
second and third season of the hit drama Parenthood. But it was his role in 2013’s hit indie drama
Fruitvale Station where he played Oscar Grant, the real life victim of a police attack that left him dead
and the country in an uproar. That role made him and its young Bay Area director Ryan Coogler
overnight sensations, and very much in demand.
Now, Michael B. Jordan and his Fruitvale Station director have signed on to star and direct
Creed, the spin off and continuation of the Rocky franchise which sent it’s writer/star(and occasional
director) Sylvester Stallone to superstardom.
If you’re not familiar with who Creed is in the Rocky franchise, Apollo Creed (played by Carl
Weathers) was Rocky’s nemesis in the first two Rocky films. Apollo was the epitome of boxing and
trained well by his trainer/manager/father figure Tony ‘Duke’ Evers (Tony Burton, who appeared in
every Rocky movie next to Sylvester Stallone and Burt Young who played Paulie) and in the first film he
felt he could beat Rocky with no problem until Rocky gave him the beating of his life. By the second
movie, hungry for revenge, Rocky and Apollo have a rematch where Rocky barely comes out on top but
showed the ‘Eye of the Tiger’. By the third movie after the death of Rocky’s original trainer Mickey
(played by the late great Burgess Meredith), Apollo and Duke take over as Rocky’s trainer/managers so
he can take on Clubber Lang (played by Mr. T). In the fourth film, Apollo comes out of retirement to take
on Soviet fighter Ivan Drago (played by Dolph Lundgren). When Apollo dies in his exhibition match to
Drago, Rocky and Duke travel to Russia to take on Drago to defend Apollo’s honor. After this film besides
flashbacks, conversation and pictures, Apollo was no longer in the franchise. Part 5 and 6 focused on
Rocky continuing to fight until he finally retired in part 6.
Creed will focus on Adonis Creed (played by Jordan), the wealthy grandson of Apollo Creed
whose family have made it their duty to keep boxing away from the young Creed even though he has a
raw natural talent. After wanting nothing more than to box, he turns to Rocky to train him and get him
ready for a match that could launch his career.
Director Ryan Coogler has been a longtime fan and it was his pitch to MGM that got Stallone and
the studio itching for this movie to happen, as well as Stallone loving the idea of Rocky training Creed’s
young grandson and the studio and Stallone being fans of Fruitvale Station. No word if anymore
returning actors from the franchise would return. I would love to see Duke, Paulie and Rocky’s son
Robert make a return to keep the franchise familiar. Creed is due out late 2015 or early 2016.