Adonis Creed is stepping back into the ring. And for the first time ever, he won’t be flanked by his longtime trainer Rocky Balboa.
While Michael B. Jordan’s eponymous character has always been the protagonist of the “Creed” franchise, Sylvester Stallone inevitably cast a large shadow over him in the first two films. But that’s about to change in “Creed III,” the first film in the “Rocky” spinoff franchise not to feature Stallone’s involvement on either side of the camera. In addition to reprising his role as Adonis Creed, Jordan is making his directorial debut on the film, working from a script written by Ryan Coogler, Keenan Coogler, and Zach Baylin.
The new film follows Adonis Creed as he goes to battle with Damian Anderson, a fierce new boxing opponent played by Jonathan Majors. Majors certainly gave the role everything he had — he recently revealed that he was punched in the face over 100 times while filming the movie.
In a recent interview, Jordan made it known that there was no animosity between him and Stallone, but both parties agreed it was time to take the franchise in a new direction.
“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.”
In addition to Jordan and Majors, the cast of “Creed III” includes Tessa Thompson, Florian Munteanu, Phylicia Rashad, Selenis Leyva, Spence Moore II, Thaddeus J. Mixson, and Tony Bellew.
“Creed III” is set to open in theaters on March 3, 2023. Watch the trailer below