First-time director Ryan Coogler made quite the impact on moviegoers in 2013, thanks to his acclaimed drama Fruitvale Station picking up two big honors at Sundance as well as a solid box-office take last summer. Now, he is moving to a more commercially viable film with Creed, a spin-off of Rocky antagonist Apollo Creed (who was played by Carl Weathers in the classic boxing films).
While at Sundance London to promote Fruitvale Station, Coogler spoke to various press outlets, including The Hollywood Reporter, about the inspiration for Creed and getting Stallone on board. The director revealed that he had approached MGM before filming Fruitvale Station with the idea to make a film extended from Rocky‘s story universe.
“It was an idea I took to them and we met with [Sylvester] Stallone for his blessing,” Coogler told THR. “It’s a universal story about family, so I hope it’ll fly.”
Stallone is on board to reprise his iconic role as Rocky Balboa, while Fruitvale Station star Michael B. Jordan, one of the most in-demand actors in Hollywood right now, will play Apollo Creed’s grandson. Stallone has even been helping Coogler and co-writer Aaron Covington with the writing process, so the project should not deter die-hard fans of the Oscar-winning drama and its five sequels. Coogler says he has been in talks with Stallone throughout the script’s evolution and that the actor gave him positive notes on his work.
With the success of a new Broadway musical based on the 1976 film and Coogler’s upcoming drama, Rocky remains one of cinema’s most enduring classics. Seeing as Stallone is helping another young filmmaker recognize his dream, Creed should be a labor of love and a testament to the human spirit.
Source: The Hollywood Reporter