C2_00765_R Sylvester Stallone stars as Rocky Balboa and Michael B. Jordan as Adonis Creed in CREED II, a Metro Goldwyn Mayer Pictures and Warner Bros. Pictures film.Credit: Barry Wetcher / Metro Goldwyn Mayer Pictures / Warner Bros. Pictures
Michael B. Jordan on what it’s like to direct and star in “Creed III”
The Creed III trailer has finally arrived and it was worth the wait.
The much-anticipated third instalment of the highly successful Creed franchise stars Michael B. Jordan reprising his role as Adonis Creed and also marks his directorial debut. Keenan Coogler and Zach Baylin wrote the screenplay which is based on a story by Ryan Coogler.
The synopsis of the film reads, “After dominating the boxing world, Adonis Creed (Jordan) has been thriving in both his career and family life. When a childhood friend and former boxing prodigy, Damian (Jonathan Majors), resurfaces after serving a long sentence in prison, he is eager to prove that he deserves his shot in the ring. The face-off between former friends is more than just a fight. To settle the score, Adonis must put his future on the line to battle Damian— a fighter who has nothing to lose.”
“We was like brothers. I was the best, though,” Damian says in the epic trailer. “I never got a chance to prove that. But I’m coming for everything.”
Phylicia Rashad, Tessa Thompson, Wood Harris, Florian Munteanu, Selenis Leyva, Thaddeus J. Mixson, Spence Moore IIand Mila Davis Kent round out the cast of the film.
At the press conference for the virtual launch of the trailer, Jordan spoke with EBONY about how it felt to be in the director’s chair and why the timing is right for him to show his skills behind the camera.
“I think for me it was the perfect time. I think growing up on set, in the industry for 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, and seeing how a real production’s storytelling took place,” he explained. “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. 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 the 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 about my life experiences and how I could actually share a piece of myself with the world through these characters and this story. So I just felt like it was the right time.”
“I was talking to Ryan Coogler back when we were doing Creed I, and he was just like, ‘It’s never the right time. You just gotta jump in the deep end and go for it.’ He gave me a lot of encouragement,” he continued. “So I just felt like it was the right time for me.”
Family is one of the core themes of the Creed franchise. In the first two films, the story explores how Adonis comes to terms with his past and how he’s creating a future with Bianca (Thompson) and their child. The evolution of the Creed family was essential to Jordan’s vision as a director.
“How do two people who are two individuals, who are successful by themselves be successful together? I think that was something that we touched on a bit. Between our relationship and support for one another. What does that look like? Who’s carrying the weight within a relationship? I think that was something we wanted to touch on as well,” continued Jordan. “Bianca is a strong woman an incredible mother and a great wife. So that’s kind of how they evolved.”
A film centered on the “sweet science” of boxing is only as good as its antagonist and Majors brings all the arch-nemesis vibes in the trailer. Jordan lauded the Lovecraft Country star for his performance as Damian and how his portrayal of the character takes the film to another level.
“Jonathan Majors is incredible. We’re very, very blessed and lucky to have him be a part of this story. For me as a director, just to have him as a running mate and have that scene partner made all the difference in the world,” noted Jordan. “I think he’s extremely talented. The world is finding out daily how incredible this man is and the work that he does is finally getting the props that’s due. He showed up every day ready to go to war and ready to work. We bonded in a way that I never had an opportunity to. I guess it’s because it’s my first time directing and having that relationship between director and actor. I really understand that now and it’s a bond that will last forever. I was really lucky to have that gentleman by my side while going through this process.”
For his directorial debut, Jordan wanted to leave his unique imprint on the film but also tell a universal story about love, family, sacrifice, and redemption that appeals to the masses. If the trailer is any indication of what the rest of the film has in store, Creed III is poised to be a compelling addition to the stellar franchise.
“This movie has a lot of me in it and hopefully a lot of other people as well,” he added. “I wanted to create a story where everybody felt like they could relate to something in this movie.”