Movies & TV / Columns

Will Creed Be a Knockout?

November 22, 2015 | Posted by Steve Gustafson
Creed

It might seem hard to believe for some of you but it has been almost 40 years since Rocky exploded on the big screen. Plenty has happened since then but the franchise has earned it’s classic status (OK, not counting Rocky V) and many had thought it had fought it last round.

Then on July 24, 2013, it was announced that MGM signed on with Fruitvale Station director Ryan Coogler to direct a spin-off of Rocky and a seventh film in the Rocky series, which Coogler would also co-write with Aaron Covington. The film cast Michael B. Jordan as Adonis Johnson Creed – Apollo’s son – and Stallone reprising the role of Rocky Balboa. It would follow Adonis and his following in the footsteps of his late father.

With that announcement came plenty of doubt and backlash, which is usually the case when you spin-off a popular series.

Stallone spoke about the development of the movie on the Red Carpet the other night. “It was a huge leap of faith,” Stallone said about putting Rocky in the hands of a director who’d only done one film prior. “Either you let Rocky go out into the sunset or you believe in youth and a young kid’s ambition, and I thought I’ve been wrong so many times in my life, I don’t want to be wrong again,” Stallone said.

Buzz slowly formed after the first trailer and fans quickly gave Creed their seal of approval. “It was completely unexpected that this would happen,” said producer Charles Winkler, son of original producer Irwin Winkler who was also in attendance. “And we very well may be taking the franchise out now into the future.”

Director Coogler spoke about the stress of tackling a classic movie and doing the characters justice. “The biggest pressure was internal,” he said, “I didn’t want to let my dad down because he loves these movies so much.”

One of the most surprising turn of events is Creed is already sparking some early Oscar buzz for Stallone’s performance. “Just from the trailer, it seems to be the best work he’s ever done. He hits it out of the park, and if there’s a vote, I’ll be voting for him,” said Carl Weathers, who played Apollo Creed. No word if he had a stew going.

Added Winkler, “The talk has happened without us having to boost it at all, and deservedly so. We know Sylvester Stallone as an action star, but we forget he started as a character actor.” However, according to Stallone himself, it’s the director who should get credit for any award nominations in his future. “I think it’s because of what this young man and has done and how he directed it. He just put me in a good light,” said Stallone.

All signs point to a big hit and future sequels. I’m a fan of Creed lead Jordan and this is exactly the kind of role where he will excel at and (hopefully) build a franchise on. What were your early thoughts on Creed? Did the trailer win you over? Voice your thoughts in the comment section below!

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Creed, Steve Gustafson