Creed continues Rocky film franchise

Michael B Jordan and Sylvester Stallone star in Creed.

Michael B Jordan and Sylvester Stallone star in Creed.

Creed is a sports drama film written and directed by Ryan Coogler, co-written by Aaron Covington, and produced by Academy Award nominee Sylvester Stallone. The film stars Michael B. Jordan as Adonis Johnson Creed – Apollo’s son – and Stallone reprises the role of Rocky Balboa. It is the seventh Rocky film, both a spin-off from the original series and the indirect successor to 2006’s Rocky Balboa. It also reunites Jordan with Fruitvale Station writer/director Coogler and with Wood Harris, whom Jordan worked with on The Wire. It is the first Rocky film not to have Stallone as a writer.

Adonis Johnson never knew his famous father, world heavy weight 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. “The Italian Stallion,” a 2-time world heavyweight champion and Apollo’s rival-turned-friend now owns and operates an Italian restaurant in Philadelphia named after his deceased wife, Adrian (Adrianna, née Pennino, played by Talia Shire in Rocky I-V). Rocky sees in Adonis the strength and determination he had known in Apollo – the fierce rival who became his closest friend.

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?

Tessa Thompson co-stars as Bianca, a singer-songwriter who becomes Adonis’ love interest. Phylicia Rashād portrays Mary Anne Creed, Apollo’s widow and Adonis’ mother; Tony Bellew portrays “Pretty” Ricky Conlan, a British fighter who is the title holder who Adonis challenges. Graham McTavish portrays Tommy Holiday. Wood Harris portrays Tony “Little Duke” Burton. Andre Ward portrays Danny “Stuntman” Wheeler, Gabriel Rosado portrays Leo Sporino, Carl Weathers appears in archive footage as Apollo Creed.

On Rotten Tomatoes the film generated a rating of 82%, with an average rating of 7.9/10. On Metacritic, the film had a score of 76 out of 100, indicating generally favorable reviews. The $35 million film has a rating of PG-13 (for violence, language and some sensuality) and runs 133 minutes, longest of any of the Rocky films. It is being released on November 25, 2015, the fortieth anniversary of the date of the opening scene in the original Rocky.