The Rocky and Creed movies have become staples of the sporting drama genre. They make viewers feel 100-feet tall, identify with the underdogs. Creed's leanings back towards the original have made the two spinoffs near the top of the entire franchise, and so we eagerly await the next one. The continued success of each entry guarantees more of Michael B. Jordan's Adonis Creed on the big screen. So, we're jotting down all the extras we want to see included next. Also, a couple of things we want Creed to not lift from its progenitors.
Like Drago's manager in Creed II, Buddy Marcelle said: "You need the narrative, something that sticks to the ribs". Winning and losing matters plenty, but it's the lessons learned, the struggles overcome, that really matter in these flicks. Adonis Creed simply winning a few more title defenses isn't what fans have paid to see. We go to these movies for the fighting spirit, the drive, the will to push through obstacle after obstacle. Always with a sweet montage thrown in. The Rocky movies knew this, even as they got sillier, and the Creed series so far has kept the best parts of that going. Here's what we definitely want to see the next time we line up for tickets to Creed.
10 A Time Jump
Adonis Creed is now on top of the world, having faced down Conlan, Wheeler, and Drago. He has cemented his place at the top of the heavyweight boxing world. For the story to have some heft moving forward it needs to jump along to his next great obstacle. If he returns from Russia only to find his very next title contender is Clubber Lang's son then you're stretching the credibility the series has earned. Adonis needs to establish a great dynasty to mirror his father, weathering (heh) challenge after challenge until he feels invincible. He needs to truly earn his way out of his father's shadow into his own spotlight. Only then can he can bask in that light to reveal his next great challenge...
9 Adonis Should Probably Lose
The Rocky and Creed series both started with losses that meant more than any win might have done. Victory despite defeat made them both excellent tales of sporting heroism and spirit. Rocky went on to ultimately win each new encounter. Adonis could conceivably tread that same path, but hopefully not. Assuming the time jump occurs he needs to once again lose the big fight and win something more outside the ring. Adonis should explore his father's bombastic showman side while reigning the boxing world. It would then be interesting if it led to similar consequences. A son who never met the man, embodying him, for good and ill. With that bombast and brashness, the fall would be all the more involving and emotional. Especially because that fall would also tie into important themes of the movie...
8 Legacy, Expectations, Acceptance
Creed was about Adonis finding his way to deal with his father, his legacy, and his shadow. Creed II was about expectations. Of his mentor, his daughter, his title reign, himself. Creed III would do well to follow this into Adonis confronting the theme of acceptance. Like the old saying goes, 'give me the strength to change the things that I can, the serenity to accept what I cannot, and the wisdom to know the difference' - Reinhold Niebuhr.
Adonis' rise to the top could coincide with encountering realities he cannot change no matter his status and skill. A growing daughter's disability. A challenger who is simply better. A mentor who truly exits his life. There's meat on the bone here. It would be a fitting trilogy ending to defy the original Rocky route and stop while still on top, all by returning to how it began. Losing a fight, winning in life.
7 No Robots
Adonis Creed isn't the type to buy a robot to help out around the house, but then neither was Rocky. No matter how Bianca or little Amara Creed's difficulties present in this sequel, let's not get some goofy tech involved. Rocky IV ended up with a robot for some interesting reasons, like Stallone's actual son having autism, but it made the film instantly sillier. So far the Creed series has stayed wonderfully grounded. The wildest things going on are Rocky's past elements and challenges constantly arising, but those aren't deal breakers. So let's leave robotics to the side or at worst, let Adonis have a little robot keyring for his mustang if they're determined to make the reference. Otherwise, it's better off without.
6 Probably No Pro Wrestling Cross Overs
Rocky crossed paths with a pre-megastar Hulk Hogan in Rocky III, but times have changed. With pro-wrestling having changed it's perception so drastically in that time (and boxing remaining steadfast) it wouldn't make much sense to bring these two together again. Sure, Thunderlips is the type of bonkers name the world needs, but we can find that without sullying this so far excellent spin-off series. Take some of the better presentation elements from the world of wrestling and leave it at that. Creed's spectacular entrance in Russia with the light-cage and Bianca singing him to the ring is as close to wrestling pageantry as it should get.
5 Another Sporting Anthem
The Rocky and Creed series are renowned for their sporting and fighting anthems, and there's no room for anything less than the exceptional. From 'Gonna Fly Now', to 'Eye Of The Tiger', to 'Hearts On Fire', Rocky movies killed it with the soundtrack. Then Creed stood tall on its own with bangers like 'Lord Knows', 'Grip', and 'Last Breath'. Suffice to say most people now practically expect to be swept up in emotion from the sound alone. If a song doesn't sample a Rocky classic and bring a tear to your eye while Creed smashes a heavy bag, the movie will not have done one of its jobs. It has to happen, preferably in a sweet training montage.
4 More Trumpets
There's not a lot of better things in cinema than the latter round rally accompanied by triumphant trumpets a-blowing. Rocky and now Creed movies have kept that going through every iteration of the franchise and no matter what, it needs to come back again. It's literally part of the ingredient list and cooking instructions when concocting these flicks. Training montage, a lingering sense of doubt over the fight outcome, trumpet fanfare, whether win or lose, victory is achieved. So while the Creed movies have indulged in this tradition, there's always the chance they stray. We're hoping that that isn't the case here. A series approaching 40 years has to be doing something right, so this small but vital aspect needs to stick, no matter how antiquated some may see it as.
3 One More Round..
He's said he's done with the Rocky character after Creed II, but Sylvester Stallone simply cannot miss out on one more round. Like Mark Hamill constantly saying he's done voicing The Joker, we hope Stallone similarly can't stay away. He's not just an integral character in this story. He's not just an iconic movie character with few if any peers. Rocky Balboa is the embodiment of the honest sporting heart. Any story where he mumbles and grumbles "Hey, I 'ppreciate it" is better for him being there. Creed III is no exception. Even if the movie and franchise want to run solely on the shoulders of Michael B. Jordan's Adonis Creed, Rocky Balboa must make his presence felt in some form or fashion.
2 More Of Bianca's Career
It's rare you can say this of a love interest in a franchise because a lot of them are filler. Exploring Bianca's battle with hearing loss while still pursuing a music career (and now motherhood) is essential to the series being so good. Unlike a lot of less well written female roles, Tessa Thompson's Bianca compliments Adonis' journey. She isn't there as some sort of foil or a hindrance, but a fleshed out person who could legitimately carry a film on her own merits. That is one of the surprise best parts of this series and it'd be a shame if it took a step away from her. We doubt that will happen, and anticipate her struggles thematically paralleling Adonis' once again.
1 Return Of The Dragos
One of the best parts of Creed II was the development of the father and son Dragos, Ivan and Viktor. By the end of Creed II, they'd shown a whole range of damage, physical and emotional. Damage that drove them to their pursuit of Adonis Creed and Rocky. It was somehow, perhaps the best antagonist story in either franchise and the pair deserve more screen time. We deserve more of them. If Adonis sought out Viktor at some point, needing someone with his ferocious physicality as a training partner, it'd make some sense.
Moreover, if the two found a way to relate over their destructive paths that led them to be fighters, all the better. It just seems a shame to leave such well-established characters on the bench when they were set up so well