Break out the hand wraps and lace up those gloves, because we’re stepping back into the ring for Creed 3 / Creed III. The critically and commercially acclaimed continuation of the iconic Rocky series has indeed been given the green light, with the man behind the titular Apollo Creed – Michael B. Jordan – apparently signed on for a little more than just role reprisal. As confirmed by co-star Tessa Thompson, Jordan will also be calling the shots from behind the camera and making his official directorial debut.
“He is directing the next Creed,” says Thompson in a recent interview.
“It’s going to be ammo, I think, for me, when he is engaging with me as a director… I’m just going to tell him to dial down the sexiness.”
Following the precedent set by Sylvester Stallone – who directed Rocky II, Rocky III, Rocky IV, and Rocky Balboa (2006) – Jordan had apparently secured the gig through negotiations with seasoned producer Irwin Winkler almost two years ago.
“I promised Michael B. Jordan that he’d get his chance to direct Creed III,” Winkler noted in an excerpt of his book A Life In Movies: From 50 Years In Hollywood.
“Last year in a conversation with our Creed star Michael B. Jordan, I offered him the opportunity to not only star in, but also to direct.“
Given the success of the first instalment directed by Ryan Coogler, and even the less successful yet entertaining sequel with Steven Caple Jr. at the helm, Jordan will certainly have some large shoes to fill – and with such a prolific franchise, no less.
Currently, not much else is known regarding where Creed 3 / Creed III will take the audience. Both Sly and the studio have expressed interest with involving the son of Rocky III villain Clubber Lang (portrayed by Mr T) as the main opponent, similar to how the second Creed pitted Jordan’s Apollo against the son of Ivan Drago (portrayed by Dolph Lundgren). At one stage, the Bronze Bomber himself – Deontay Wilder – was even attached to the role. But really… how many sons of former franchise villains does one man have to fight?
Tessa has stated filming is scheduled to begin later this year with no release date announced thus far – sometime in 2022 is a fairly safe bet. And here’s to hoping they don’t actually pull the trigger on such a cornball concept.