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 to Make Directorial Debut With ‘Creed III,’ Set for Thanksgiving 2022 Release

Michael B. Jordan will pull double duty on the newest “Creed” installment, starring in and directing “Creed III.”

MGM announced today that Jordan will make his directorial debut with the new film, which is set to be released in theaters on Nov. 23, 2022. Tessa Thompson and Phylicia Rashad are expected to return for the third installment, written by Keenan Coogler (“Space Jam: A New Legacy”) and Zach Baylin (“King Richard”), based on an outline by Ryan Coogler.

“Directing has always been an aspiration, but the timing had to be right. ‘Creed III’ is that moment — a time in my life where I’ve grown more sure of who I am, holding agency in my own story, maturing personally, growing professionally, and learning from the Greats like Ryan Coogler, most recently Denzel Washington, and other top tier directors I respect. All of which sets the table for this moment,” Jordan said in a statement.

He continued: “This franchise and in particular the themes of ‘Creed III’ are deeply personal to me. I look forward to sharing the next chapter of Adonis Creed’s story with the awesome responsibility of being its director and namesake.”

Jordan stars in the boxing franchise as Adonis “Creed” Johnson, son of the fallen boxing champion Apollo Creed (Carl Weathers) — Rocky Balboa’s (Sylvester Stallone) former foe turned friend, who was killed in a match versus Ivan Drago (Dolph Lundgren) in “Rocky IV.”

By taking on the role of director and star in the boxing film, Jordan also mimics his on-screen mentor Stallone, who directed four installments of the “Rocky” franchise — “Rocky II,” “Rocky III”, “Rocky IV” and 2006’s “Rocky Balboa.”

Jordan will also serve as a producer on the film, a Chartoff-Winkler Production, alongside Irwin Winkler, Charles Winkler, William Chartoff, David Winkler, Jonathan Glickman and Ryan Coogler, producing in association with Proximity Media. Executive producers are Adam Rosenberg, Sev Ohanian, and Zinzi Coogler.

“The films of Sylvester Stallone’s Rocky franchise have always been important to me and my family. It was an honor to help bring the Creed franchise to life with Sly, Michael, Tessa, Irwin, and all the creative parties involved,” Coogler said. “I couldn’t be more thrilled to see Mike in the director’s chair on the third installment. The team at Proximity and I are excited about the story Keenan and Zach have crafted and can’t wait to help bring it to life.”

Coogler relaunched the legendary IP with 2015’s “Creed” (which earned $173 million at the box office and a Golden Globe award for Stallone), while Steven Caple Jr. helmed 2018’s “Creed II,” (taking in another $214 million at the box office for MGM). The new film, dated for Thanksgiving, will be released theatrically in the U.S. via MGM’s distribution and marketing joint venture United Artists Releasing.

Of the new project, Michael De Luca, MGM’s Film Group Chairman, and Pamela Abdy, MGM’s Film Group President, added: “Michael’s vision for ‘Creed III’ is incredibly exciting and will undoubtedly be an important contribution to the cannon of this storied franchise. We are thrilled to bring his directorial debut, and share this next chapter in the Creed story, to theaters next year.”

In October, Deadline reported that Jordan was circling the option to direct the third “Creed” film, but Tessa Thompson (who co-stars as Creed’s love Bianca) confirmed the report in a Dec. 23 interview with MTV News. “He is directing the next ‘Creed,’” Thompson says, teasing that she’ll use Jordan’s new status as PEOPLE’s Sexiest Man Alive against him on set. “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.”

Ahead of “Creed 3,” Jordan stars in “Tom Clancy’s Without Remorse” and is currently filming the Denzel Washington-directed “Journal for Jordan.”

Source: Variety

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