Back to IndieWire

Tessa Thompson Books Female Lead Role in Ryan Coogler’s ‘Creed’ Opposite Michael B. Jordan

Tessa Thompson Books Female Lead Role in Ryan Coogler's 'Creed' Opposite Michael B. Jordan

Ryan Coogler’s next project – a film that will revisit the “Rocky” franchise, but, this time, with focus on the grandson of Apollo Creed – has added Tessa Thompson, fresh off her Gotham Awards Breakthrough Actor win, to its cast.

Via Deadline, Ms Thompson joins Coogler’s “Fruitvale Station” star, Michael B. Jordan, playing the female lead, in a story that will see Jordan as the grandson of Apollo Creed, raised in a wealthy home, living off his grandfather’s earnings, but who, despite his family not wanting him to follow in his grandfather’s footsteps, has the desire to do so, as well as the natural gifts and potential that his grandfather used to become a heavyweight champion… that is until Rocky Balboa took his crown in 1979′s “Rocky II.” Creed’s grandson seeks a mentor to help train him, and, of course, that mentor turns out to be Balboa himself (Stallone), who is no longer interested in the sport, and apparently needs to be convinced to help get Creed’s grandson prepped and ready to get in the ring.

Sylvester Stallone will returning to reprise his role as Rocky Balboa, but as a retired fighter-turned-trainer and mentor for the younger Creed. 

Also, champion boxers Andre Ward, and Tony Bellew are in negotiations to join the cast of “Creed,” with Bellew in talks to play the main antagonist in the movie, a fighter named “Pretty Ricky Porter” – Michael B. Jordan’s main opponent in the ring. 

With an early 2015 shoot date, I’d expect the film to be out in late 2015/early 2016, depending on what the studio’s plans are for it – as in, whether it’ll be another awards season contender, as was the last film that Coogler and Jordan teamed up on.

Tessa Thompson was last seen starring in Justin Simien’s “Dear White People,” and will next appear in Ava DuVernay’s upcoming Oscar contender “Selma.”

This Article is related to: News and tagged