Michael B. Jordan is ready to carry the mantle of the Rocky franchise in Creed III. Not only is he reprising his role as Adonis Creed, but Jordan steps behind the camera as well as Creed III marks his feature directorial debut. The first trailer for Creed III teases a battle with an important figure in Adonis’s past.
That person is Damian Anderson, played by Jonathan Majors. Adonis and Damian were childhood friends, but an encounter with the law sent Damian away for almost two decades. Now, Damian is back, and Adonis attempts to repair their relationship through boxing. However, Damian is looking to fight Adonis, not train with him, and the conflict between the two friends will have to be settled in the ring. Jordan praised the addition of Majors to the franchise and teased the impending showdown between the two characters.
“Jonathan Majors is incredible. Very, very blessed and lucky to have him be a part of this, this story. And for me as a director, just to have that running mate and have that scene partner you know, it made all the difference in the world,” said Jordan in a press conference for Creed III. “The character Damian you’ll find out more about, but definitely a pivotal person and a pillar in Adonis’s life that kind of, you know, that comes back around and needs to kind of get addressed.”
Creed III is the ninth installment in the Rocky franchise, but it marks the first film with Sylvester Stallone as Rocky Balboa. Stallone serves as a producer on Creed III. Like Stallone did with the Rocky sequels, Jordan will direct the character that he made famous. When asked about his decision to direct, Jordan felt it was the “right time,” and he’s comfortable sharing his views and experiences through the eyes of Adonis.
“I think for me it was the perfect time. I think growing up on set, in the industry over 20 years — I started out doing background work and extra work and just kind of just seeing the sets evolve, seeing everybody’s job, seeing how a real production’s storytelling took place. I finally got to this place in my career where I wanted to tell a story and not just be in front of the camera, not just execute somebody else’s vision,” said Jordan. “And having a character that I’ve played twice before, it’s been seven, eight years living with this guy. So to be able to tell a story of where I believe Adonis is at, and also at 35 years old, I had a lot to say as a young man, as a young Black man, just my life experiences and how I could actually share that, share a piece of myself with the world — through these characters and through this story. So I just felt like it was the right time.”
Reprising their roles from the previous Creed installments are Tessa Thompson as Bianca Taylor, Adonis’s wife; Phylicia Rashad as Mary Anne Creed, Adonis’s mother; Wood Harris as Tony “Little Duke” Evers, Adonis’s trainer; and Florian Munteanu as Viktor Drago, son of Ivan Drago and Adonis’s adversary in Creed II. Keenan Coogler and Zach Baylin wrote the script based on a story by the same duo along with Ryan Coogler, who wrote and directed Creed and produced Creed III.
Creed III hits theaters on March 3, 2023.
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