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Indie Cred Leads to “Creed”; Coogler reteams with Michael B. Jordan to Bring Stallone’s Rocky Back into the Ring

Cue Bill Conti’s infamous score. For the longest time we were wondering when this Sundance breakout was going to have his name attached to a sophomore project, and it turns out the answer is close to his cinephile heart. We knew he was a fan of the Rocky series (he detailed how consumed he was by parts I thru VI), but Deadline reports that with a smart pitch, Sylvester Stallone’s full commitment and Fruitvale Station lead Michael B. Jordan in-place, the Cannes directing award winner Ryan Coogler will hit the gym sort speak and continue the Rocky franchise with a spin-off called Creed. To be co-written with Aaron Covington, the MGM film will be produced by Irwin Winkler, Robert Chartoff, along with Stallone and Kevin King.

Gist: The intention is for Jordan to play the grandson of Apollo Creed (played in the early movies by Carl Weathers). Raised in an upper-crust home thanks to the ring riches earned by his grandfather, the young man doesn’t have to box and his family doesn’t want him to. Yet, he has the natural instinct and gifts and potential that made his grandfather the heavyweight champion until Rocky Balboa took his crown in 1979′s Rocky II. Creed’s grandson needs a mentor and turns to Balboa, who is out of boxing completely and not eager to return.

Worth Noting: Creed‘s character would go by the name of The Master of Disaster, The King of Sting, The Dancing Destroyer, The Prince of Punch, The One and Only and The Count of Monte Fisto. We wonder what moniker the next Creed generation will have.

Do We Care?: Seeing that Coogler is a fan of Scorsese (think Raging Bull folks) and cares about this character set much in the same way the leagues of comic book fans who end up helming superhero films, we’re thinking that this might fall into generation of sons of famous dangerous sport figure fathers (this case grandfather) type narratives: think of the Villeneuves and the Andrettis of the racing world as an example. We’re hoping that this antithesis of the rags-to-riches tale avoids the already worn-out formulaic “one more time in the ring” narrative treatment for the complex, more than family name pride type motivations of sons wanting to replicate the professional sports pivots of their fathers and grandfathers before them.

Eric Lavallée is the founder, CEO, editor-in-chief, film journalist, and critic at IONCINEMA.com, established in 2000. A regular at Sundance, Cannes, and Venice, Eric holds a BFA in film studies from the Mel Hoppenheim School of Cinema. In 2013, he served on the narrative competition jury at the SXSW Film Festival. He was an associate producer on Mark Jackson’s "This Teacher" (2018 LA Film Festival, 2018 BFI London). In 2022, he was a New Flesh Juror for Best First Feature at the Fantasia International Film Festival. Current top films for 2023 include The Zone of Interest (Glazer), Inside the Yellow Cocoon Shell (Pham Thien An), Totem (Lila Avilés), La Chimera (Alice Rohrwacher), All Dirt Roads Taste of Salt (Raven Jackson).

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