Michael B. Jordan has been quietly rising through the ranks – stealthily racking up experience with small roles in high profile projects, from The Sopranos, to Cosby, to The Wire, to Parenthood, and everywhere in between. It was arguably his stint as high school football player Vince Howard in Friday Night Lights that allowed him to really flex his talent on the small screen, however, and set him on course for big screen greatness. There was Chronicle, and Fruitvale Station, and his casting as Johnny Storm in Fantastic Four – and while those projects showcase formidable skill, it is this first trailer for Creed that sends the message: There is a new screen icon in town.
Reuniting with his Fruitvale Station writer-director, Ryan Coogler (co-writing here with first-time scribe Aaron Covington), Michael B. Jordan fills the screen with his presence, as the film takes the Rocky story in a new, compelling direction.
“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 Philadephia – 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.
“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 in the ring?”
This feels like a passing of the torch as much as it feels like Michael B. Jordan’s film, and while Stallone makes a significant impact when he arrives onscreen to reprise his most famous role, it is his contrast with Jordan – both in age and demeanour – that electrifies the frame in this preview. Also supporting Jordan are Phylicia Rashad as his mother, Mary; Tessa Thompson as his girlfriend, Bianca; and Anthony Bellew as rival fighter ‘Pretty’ Ricky Conlan.
Hitting theatres on November 25th, 2015 will make Creed the second ‘boxing movie’ of 2015 – after Antoine Fuqua’s Southpaw is released on July 20th. However, what appears to set this film apart is not only its status within a legendary film franchise, or the way in which it looks to move that story forward effectively and respectfully, but also the way in which it delivers to us a new leading man. Michael B. Jordan has entered the ring, and it’s going to be a knockout.