The upcoming Creed is a spinoff/sequel to the Rocky movie franchise, with Sylvester Stallone reprising his role as Rocky Balboa. Sly has shared the first official screenshot from Creed ( via his social media channels), showing the Italian Stallion alongside his new boxing pupil: Adonis Johnson (Michael B. Jordan), an aspiring fighter and the son of Rocky's late rival turned friend, Apollo Creed.
Creed is the sophomore feature by Ryan Coogler (who co-wrote the script with Aaron Covington), after his collaboration with Jordan on critically-acclaimed true story drama Fruitvale Station. A large chunk of shooting on the project has already taken place in Philadelphia, with a cast that includes Tessa Thompson (Dear White People), Graham McTavish (Outlander), and Phylicia Rashad (Do No Harm) in supporting roles.
The stars of Creed, however, are very much Jordan and Stallone - an idea further driven home by the first pic unveiled from the film, showing the pair training within the boxing ring. Whether or not Coogler's movie will feature a classic Rocky-style training montage during its running time, is a question that remains to be answered (though it almost feels like a given).
Creed, similar to upcoming sequel/franchise revival Jurassic World, looks to incorporate numerous homages to the original movie that inspired it - as evidenced by leaked photos from the film's set. For example, certain photos show Jordan dressed in a training outfit that recalls Stallone's workout gear from the original Best Picture Oscar-winning Rocky in 1976. And by "recalls," we mean it's basically the exact same outfit.
So far, though, most of these callbacks in Creed seem relatively organic to the proceedings - like the set pics that show Rocky having Adonis do the same chicken-catching exercise that Mickey (Burgess Meredith) had the former do, once upon a time. Much - okay, all - of Stallone's recent films have banked heavily on nostaglia as part of their appeal, but Creed arguably has potential to provide a compelling standalone story on top of that.
Creed is shaping up to be a more grounded sports drama on par with the first two Rocky installments - incorporating elements such as Rocky's deteriorating health into the narrative, in a different way than either the most recent installment (2006's Rocky Balboa) or the proceeding chapters (see: Rocky being diagnosed with brain damage in Rocky V).
It's not clear yet if Creed paves the way for more installments featuring Jordan as Adonis, but in either case it could end up giving a fitting swansong to Stallone's time on this franchise.
MORE: Official Creed Synopsis
Creed opens in U.S. theaters on November 25th, 2015.
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