It feels like it’s been a while since we mentioned Ryan Coogler’s name on this blog; Remember his feature directorial debut “Fruitvale Station,” and all the great press that the film, the filmmaker, and its star received? It seems like ages ago, but it was just around this time last year, as awards season began, when buzz around the film as an awards contender was in conversation, and a few months after we alerted you to what Coogler’s next project would be: a film that would revisit the “Rocky” franchise, but, this time, the focus will be on the grandson of Apollo Creed – the character played by Carl Weathers in the first 4 “Rocky” movies; a role that will be played by Coogler’s “Fruitvale Station” star, Michael B. Jordan.
Sylvester Stallone was said to also be returning to reprise his role as Rocky Balboa, but in Coogler’s film, as a retired fighter-turned-trainer.
Apparently, this has been a dream project for Coogler – one that he shared with Stallone after signing with WME last year, who loved it; the pair then took the idea to MGM brass and they loved it as well, and the rest is history. Since then, it looks like Coogler’s been working on the screenplay, which appears to now be ready for production, with a January 2015 shoot start date eyed.
The story for what will be the 7th film in the “Rocky” franchise will see Michael B. Jordan play 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.
Announced today, champion boxer Andre Ward (photo above-right), and British champion boxer Tony Bellew (photo above-left) 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.
No word on what role Ward might play.
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.
The news was first reported by The Hollywood Reporter.