Across six films and three decades, Sylvester Stallone’s Rocky Balboa became a household name; the underdogs of all underdogs, his saga from up-and-coming boxer to world champion was one of the most iconic character arcs of the 70s and early 80s. But for Ryan Coogler’s Creed, Stallone is taking one step back from the limelight – even handing over script duties to Coogler and Aaron Covington – in order to coach the new kid on the block, Michael B. Jordan’s Adonis Johnson.
What makes this dynamic between trainer and trainee so intriguing, though, is the fact that Jordan’s up-and-comer is the son of former world heavyweight champ, Apollo Creed. Played by Carl Weathers across the original films, Rocky’s enemy-turned-ally was ultimately killed at the cannon-like hand of Dolph Lundgren’s Russian boxer, Drogo. It was a revenge arc that made up the majority of Rocky IV, and it’ll be interesting to see how the relationship between Adonis and the Italian Stallion evolves over the course of Coogler’s spinoff.
And as today’s new images show, Jordan has certainly committed to the physically demanding role, while Stallone essentially fills in the role of Mickey Goldmill – hat and all. Tessa Thompson, Phylicia Rashad, and English pro boxer Anthony Bellew also star in Creed.
Sylvester Stallone will reprise his iconic role as Rocky Balbao and coach Michael B. Jordan in the process when Creed hits theaters on November 25.
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.