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Is Creed The Next Step in Spinoffs?

July 6, 2015 | Posted by Steve Gustafson

The Creed trailer came out last week and gave us our first taste at the upcoming Rocky franchise spinoff/sequel, starring Michael B. Jordan as the son of Apollo Creed and Sylvester Stallone as Rocky Balboa. To catch you up, the synopsis for the movie reads:

“From Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Pictures, Warner Bros. Pictures and New Line Cinema comes award-winning filmmaker Ryan Coogler’s Creed. The film explores a new chapter in the Rocky story and stars Academy Award nominee Sylvester Stallone in his iconic role. The film also reunites Coogler with his Fruitvale Station star Michael B. Jordan as the son of Apollo Creed.

Adonis Johnson (Jordan) never knew his famous father, world heavyweight champion Apollo Creed, who died before he was born. Still, there’s no denying that boxing is in his blood, so Adonis heads to Philadelphia, the site of Apollo Creed’s legendary match with a tough upstart named Rocky Balboa.

Once in the City of Brotherly Love, Adonis tracks Rocky (Stallone) down and asks him to be his trainer. Despite his insistence that he is out of the fight game for good, Rocky sees in Adonis the strength and determination he had known in Apollo—the fierce rival who became his closest friend. Agreeing to take him on, Rocky trains the young fighter, even as the former champ is battling an opponent more deadly than any he faced in the ring.

With Rocky in his corner, it isn’t long before Adonis gets his own shot at the title…but can he develop not only the drive but also the heart of a true fighter, in time to get into the ring?”

First thoughts on the trailer? I was surprised how much I liked it. It hit all the right notes with introducing Adonis, his passion for boxing, his love interest, his foe for the supposed “big fight”, and how Rocky fits in. Creed jumped from being a movie that I cringed when I heard mentioned to a must see, thanks to that trailer.

Let’s be honest, when this project was first announce back in 2013, there were plenty of doubts. The Rocky franchise is well loved and a spin-off/seventh film in the series didn’t seem necessary or wanted. Even when they announced that Fruitvale Station (Excellent movie!) director Ryan Coogler was helming it, it did little to sway opinion. Going even further, when they cast Jordan, who’s also starring in August’s Fantastic Four, who also received critical acclaim for his lead role in Fruitvale Station, this movie didn’t get much attention outside a passing mention on news sites.

Now Creed has people’s attention and we can speculate on it’s impact. Hollywood loves making money and will mine any good idea or angle until it stops making money. And even then they’ll give it a few years and try again.

Quick, name three spin-offs that are both critically and commercially successful.

I’ll wait.

You can point to the Wolverine franchise, which spun-off from the X-Men series, but it’s received a decent split when it comes to reaction from audiences and critics. The same could be said for The Chronicles of Riddick, which came from Pitch Black. The point is, Hollywood hasn’t found the right balance for the spin-off, which has to be frustrating because there’s money to be made on some of these franchises. Spin-off history is filled with such “classics” like Catwoman, Evan Almighty, Elektra, Get Him To The Greek, The Bourne Legacy, and This is 40. OK, to be honest, I liked those last three.

The reason Creed is so important now is because studios will be watching the numbers carefully and following the blueprint so they can put the right touch and flood the theaters with the new adventures like The Adventures of Lucy McClane a Die Hard spin-off or Hobbs: Fast, Furious, and Funky to branch out from the Fast and Furious empire.

I should point out that I’m well aware that when Walt Disney purchased LucasFilm, they outlined a plan to not only create three new chapters in the Star Wars saga but also standalone spin-off films that would operate outside of the main story. Star Wars has achieved such overwhelming success across the board that I can’t use the franchise as an example.

Creed has some solid positive buzz right now and with a strong opening, could open the Pandora’s box for all sort of possibilities. I’ll leave which ones to you in the comments below.

article topics :

Creed (Movie), Steve Gustafson