A week before “Creed” opens in theaters next week, November 25, premium TV network EPIX will air “From Rocky to Creed: The Legacy Continues,” an exclusive presentation chronicling the 40-year story of the “Rocky” saga, tonight, November 18 at 8/7c.
The one hour documentary tells the pugilistic love story from beginning to end directly through its creator, Sylvester Stallone, who was virtually unknown in 1976 when he persuaded producers and a major studio to let him star in the film he penned. The movie told the gritty tale of a working class boxer who gets a once-in-a-lifetime chance to fight the heavyweight champion, and the film quickly became an overnight success, garnering three Academy Awards, including Best Picture. It launched Stallone’s career as a box office megastar, spawned an iconic Billboard #1 theme song, and introduced the use of the Steadicam, which revolutionized the filmmaking industry.
“From Rocky to Creed: The Legacy Continues” captures Sylvester Stallone and producers Irwin Winkler and the late Robert Chartoff sharing the franchise’s Cinderella story from the first film, to the critically and commercially-successful sixth film, “Rocky Balboa.” Featured are Carl Weathers (Apollo Creed in “Rocky” I, II, III, IV) and Dolph Lundgren (Ivan Drago in “Rocky IV”), both of whom talk about the physicality and preparations to play their characters, and how they landed the roles of their lives; Milo Ventimiglia (Robert Balboa, Jr. in “Rocky Balboa”) on playing Rocky’s son; and director of photography and Steadicam inventor Garrett Brown (“Rocky” I, II) recounts the challenges attached to shooting the boxing sequences and how his invention captured the most memorable scene in the movie which, in Stallone’s words, led to “the shot of my life.”
Highlighting the mentoring relationship between Stallone and “Creed” director Ryan Coogler, as well as the impact of the Apollo Creed character on our culture, and the intense and inspirational preparations undertaken to deliver another new storyline for the enduring line of “Rocky” films, the documentary also offers multi-generational fans an inside look at the new chapter in the “Rocky” story (“Creed”), which stars Michael B. Jordan as Adonis Johnson, the son of Apollo Creed; Sylvester Stallone in his iconic role; Tessa Thompson as Bianca, a local singer-songwriter who becomes involved with Adonis; Phylicia Rashad as Mary Anne Creed; and English pro boxer and former three-time ABA Heavyweight Champion Anthony Bellew as boxing champ “Pretty” Ricky Conlan. Coogler directs from a screenplay he wrote with Aaron Covington, story by Coogler, based on characters from the “Rocky” series written by Sylvester Stallone.
The MGM, Warner Bros and New Line Cinema film hits theaters on November 25, 2015.
“From Rocky to Creed: The Legacy Continues” is an EPIX Exclusive Presentation, written and produced by David Stephan and Dan Goldman. David McKenzie, Jim Romanovich and Charles Winkler are the executive producers. Sylvester Stallone and Michael B. Jordan are the narrators.
Read Nijla Mumin’s review of “Creed” here.
Watch 5 clips from tonight’s documentary below: