Warner Bros. has set new 2015 release dates for a pair of upcoming projects: Point Break - a remake of director Kathryn Bigelow's 1991 action/thriller starring Keanu Reeves and Patrick Swayze - and Creed, a Rocky spinoff/sequel headlined by Michael B. Jordan (Fantastic Four (2015)) as Adonis Creed, the grandson of the late Apollo Creed (Carl Weathers).
Creed also features Sylvester Stallone reprising his iconic role as Rocky Balboa - who, in the film, ends up serving as the trainer and mentor for young Adonis, who aspires to become a boxing champion despite the apprehensions of his family (due to the fate that befell his grandfather). Rounding out the cast are such folk as Tessa Thompson (Dear White People), Phylicia Rashad (The Cosby Show, Do No Harm), and real-life boxers Tony Bellew and Andre Ward.
The most recent installment in the Rocky movie franchise, 2006's Rocky Balboa, was both generally well-received by critics and viewed as being a fitting swan song for the eponymous character - which means it's a good thing that, by early accounts, this new film is foremost Adonis' story, with Stallone playing a true supporting role. Creed is written and directed by Ryan Coogler, who broke out as a filmmaker with his gritty, true story based, character drama/study Fruitvale Station (also headlined by Jordan) - so having a rising talent on both sides of the camera bodes well for this movie.
Creed might prove more poignant than your average sports drama (for those familiar with the history of the Rocky series, anyway), but ought to still play out as an uplifting tale overall. Warner Bros. has set it for release over the 2015 Thanksgiving frame - a date that also falls on the awards season-friendly side - where Creed will face opening day competition from such films as Pixar's The Good Dinosaur and director Ridley Scott's space exploration drama, The Martian.
Meanwhile, Warner Bros. has responded to Paramount's move last week - where the studio bumped up Mission: Impossible 5's theatrical debut this year to July 31st - by shifting its Point Break remake away to take the Christmas Day release date that was previously claimed by the Tom Cruise tentpole. That means that Point Break will now have to battle Star Wars: Episode VII - The Force Awakens at the box office, just a week after director J.J. Abrams' juggernaut hits the scene.
Point Break is directed by cinematographer-turned helmer Ericson Core (Invincible) and written by Kurt Wimmer (Total Recall (2012)), with Luke Bracey (The November Man) and Édgar Ramírez (Deliver Us From Evil) in the roles originated by Reeves and Swarze, respectively. Surface differences aside, this film's plot is basically the same as that for Bigelow's original: an FBI agent (Bracey) infiltrates a gang of thieves (led by Ramirez) obsessed with extreme sports.
Teresa Palmer (Warm Bodies) and Ray Winstone (Noah) round out the supporting cast for the Point Break remake... but, after years of imitators hitting theaters (see: xXx) and a less accomplished director at the helm (compared to its predecessor), will a face-lift be enough for this action movie formula to work again? Only time will tell.
Creed opens in U.S. theaters on November 25th, 2015, followed by Point Break on December 25th, 2015.
Source: Box Office Mojo