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Michael B. Jordan Explains Sylvester Stallone’s ‘Creed 3’ Exit: ‘Building This Story Around Adonis’

Jordan is making his directorial debut with the third chapter in the boxing franchise.

"Creed"

“Creed”

Barry Wetcher/©Warner Bros./Courtesy Everett Collection

The upcoming “Creed 3” will mark a pair of firsts for franchise star Michael B. Jordan. Not only will the actor be making his feature directorial debut with the third chapter in the popular boxing franchise, but he’ll also be playing protagonist Adonis Creed without support from Sylvester Stallone for the first time. Stallone reprised his famous role of Rocky in “Creed” and “Creed 2,” earning an Oscar nomination for Best Supporting Actor with the former. But Rocky isn’t going to factor in to “Creed 3,” and Jordan recently explained to IGN (via Insider) the reason why.

“I think that Sly let it be known that he wasn’t coming back for this one but I think, you know, his essence and his spirit… there’s always going to be a little bit of Rocky within Adonis,” Jordan said. “But this is a ‘Creed’ franchise, and we really want to build this story and this world around [Adonis Creed] moving forward.”

Jordan continued, “So, it’s always respect and always a shit-ton of love for what [Sylvester Stallone has] built, but we really want to push and navigate Adonis forward and the family that he created. So, hopefully you guys will love what I’m thinking… what we’re cooking up. I think it’s going to be something special.”

Jordan is set to star, produce, and direct “Creed 3,” with Tessa Thompson and Phylicia Rashad reprising their roles. The film’s writers are Keenan Coogler and Zach Baylin, who penned the screenplay based on an outline by Ryan Coogler. Coogler directed the original “Creed” to rave reviews in 2015 and over $170 million at the worldwide box office. The 2018 sequel “Creed II” was directed by Steven Caple Jr. and broke the $200 million mark at the worldwide box office.

“Directing has always been an aspiration, but the timing had to be right,” Jordan said in a statement announcing his plan to direct the next “Creed” movie. “’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. 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.”

MGM has plans to release “Creed 3” in theaters during the Thanksgiving 2022 holiday.

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