The first photo from the upcoming Rocky spinoff movie Creed features Sylvester Stallone back in the ring as the iconic boxer, but he’s not putting on the gloves this time around.
Stallone posted the image from Creed to Instagram this week, and the shot offers a peak at both the franchise star reprising his titular role as Philly boxer Rocky Balboa and the new blood joining the Rocky movie-verse, actor Michael B. Jordan.
In the film, Jordan plays Adonis Creed, the son of former world heavyweight champion Apollo Creed (Carl Weathers), who was once Rocky’s greatest rival and eventually became his closest friend. After tracking down Rocky in Philadelphia, Adonis convinces the aging fighter to be his trainer and impart the wisdom that will give him the heart of a champion — but according to the film’s synopsis, Rocky has a tough battle of his own to fight, too.
Creed is directed by Fruitvale Station filmmaker Ryan Coogler. Along with Stallone and Jordan, Creed stars Tessa Thompson (Selma) as Bianca, a singer-songwriter who becomes involved with Adonis, and Phylicia Rashad (The Cosby Show) as Apollo’s widow and Adonis’ mother, Mary Anne Creed. Real-world professional boxer Anthony Bellew plays “Pretty” Ricky Conlan, the current champion, in the film.
The last film in the franchise, 2006’s Rocky Balboa, served as the concluding chapter to Rocky’s time in the ring, with the boxer effectively hanging up his gloves (again) after a closely contested exhibition match against the much younger, fictional champion Mason Dixon (Antonio Tarver). The film was both a critical and box-office success.
The film is based on a script penned by Coogler and Aaron Covington, and was shot on location in Philadelphia, Rocky’s hometown.
Creed is scheduled to punch its way into theaters November 25.