Creed III is happening. The third entry in what initially started life as a continuation of the Rocky boxing franchise is now moving forward as a series of its own… and without Rocky.
The movie will follow up 2018’s Creed II, in which Adonis Creed (Michael B. Jordan) faced off in the ring against Viktor Drago (Florian Monteanu) — son of the man who killed his father, Ivan Drago (Dolph Lundgren) — while also becoming a family man and continuing to come to terms with the legacy of his dad, Apollo Creed. Not nearly as fresh and urgent as 2015’s original Creed, the second movie was still received warmly enough by audiences and critics to make a third entry possible. Although there are some major new wrinkles this time around.
Everything you need to know about Creed III is right below, so check it out and keep coming back for more updates.
Creed 3 Cast
It won’t surprise you to know that, duh, Michael B. Jordan (whose new movie is the Tom Clancy thriller Without Remorse) is coming back in what is quickly becoming his signature role, Adonis “Donnie” Creed. Jordan had been acting since 1999 and had even scored some notable roles in shows like The Wire and Friday Night Lights, but his breakthrough effort was 2013’s powerful Fruitvale Station, in which Jordan played a real-life Black man named Oscar Grant who was killed by a cop in an Oakland train station.
The Ryan Coogler-directed indie led almost directly to Jordan’s next two collaborations with Coogler, in Creed and the history-making Black Panther. But it was that middle step with Creed that established Jordan as not just a Hollywood leading man but a bankable star.
Also coming back for the third round are Tessa Thompson as Donnie’s wife Bianca, and Phylicia Rashad as his adoptive mother Mary Anne, both of whom appeared in the two previous pictures.
Not returning this time is Sylvester Stallone, a bit of an eyebrow-raiser since this is, technically, still part of the Rocky franchise (Stallone also co-wrote the screenplay for Creed II). When we last saw Rocky Balboa in Creed II, he had made peace with both Creed and his own estranged son, also meeting his grandson for the first time.
While the first two Creed movies were to some degree about passing the torch from the generation represented by Rocky and Apollo to the new one embodied by Adonis, Rocky’s mentorship of the younger Creed was a large part of the films’ connective tissue.
But Jordan said recently in an interview with Yahoo! Entertainment, “I feel like this is the Creed franchise… We really want fans to be interested in Adonis and what that story has to say.”
Jordan added that Stallone’s presence will still be felt, explaining, “There’s going to be so many Rocky-isms that are forever going to stay with Adonis as he moves forward.” But he also emphasized, “Whether or not Rocky comes back for this one, this is the Creed franchise moving forward.”
Stallone is said to be developing two Rocky movies on his own — one set after Creed II in which Rocky mentors a boxer who’s in the country illegally, and one detailing the champ’s early years — so he seems to be okay with the decision. He said about Creed III on his Instagram account, “It will be done, but I won’t be in it.”
Creed 3 Director
Creed III will include another big development in terms of who’s behind the camera: After Ryan Coogler (who will have a story credit on this one) directed the first film, and Steven Caple Jr. (who’s now directing the next Transformers movie) handled Creed II, the threequel will be directed by…Michael B. Jordan himself in what will be his directorial debut.
Jordan moving into the director’s chair for Creed III has been rumored for a while, but he made it official in March. The actor said in a statement, “Directing has always been an aspiration, but the timing had to be right. 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.”
He added, “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.”
Creed 3 Story
While Jordan said that the themes of Creed III are “deeply personal” to him, little has been said about the actual story for the movie. We suspect it will involve a boxing match or two, a fearsome opponent in the ring, a love-hate relationship with a trainer (will Tony “Little Duke” Evers be back?), and perhaps some of the old self-searching on Adonis’ part. Plus, maybe some drama on the home front, as well.
But for now, we don’t know anything, including who Creed’s nemesis will be. TMZ reported back in 2018 that heavyweight champ Deontay Wilder was interested in playing the son of Clubber Lang, Rocky’s opponent from Rocky III, who was portrayed indelibly by Mr. T. But after doing the whole deal with the Dragos in Creed II, it might be a little tacky to bring back yet another offspring of yet another previous Rocky antagonist (and contradictory to Jordan’s stated intent to make this one strictly about Creed).
Creed 3 Release Date
There’s no word yet on when production is scheduled to begin, but as of now, Creed III is slated to arrive in theaters on Nov. 23, 2022.
So far that puts it in direct competition on the same date with only an untitled Disney animation project, although that month will feature the release of several expected box office behemoths, including Captain Marvel 2 and The Flash.