While the news may have been spoiled by one Tessa Thompson a little while back that Michael B. Jordan would be making his directorial debut with Creed III, the third installment of the continuation of the Rocky franchise, MGM is now ready to make it official.
Along with the confirmation of Jordan closing the deal to make his first go at directing, MGM has announced that the film will be released on November 23rd, 2022.
It’s a fitting date for the franchise, as the first Creed opened on November 25th, 2015 with a $29.6 million opening on its way to $173.6 million worldwide. Creed II stuck with the Thanksgiving release when it opened on November 21, 2018 to even bigger numbers, with a $35.6 million opening on its way to a $214.2 million worldwide total.
Jordan’s shift into directing with this franchise is an almost identical evolution to the one that the original Rocky, Sylvester Stallone, took back in the ‘70s. After the mammoth, Best Picture-winning success of the first Rocky, Stallone made his directing debut with Paradise Alley two years later. He then went on to direct Rocky II as his follow-up. Stallone also directed the third and fourth Rocky films.
In a statement coinciding with the announcement, Jordan said, “Directing has always been an aspiration, but the timing had to be right. Creed III is that moment — a time in my life where I’ve grown more sure of who I am, holding agency in my own story, maturing personally, growing professionally, and learning from the greats like Ryan Coogler, most recently Denzel Washington, and other top tier directors I respect. All of which sets the table for this moment. This franchise and in particular the themes of Creed III are deeply personal to me. I look forward to sharing the next chapter of Adonis Creed’s story with the awesome responsibility of being its director and namesake.”
It’s clear that Jordan, who has always been a selective actor, has put a lot of thought into making this his debut directing effort, and holds this franchise close to his heart.
Irwin Winkler, longtime producer of the franchise in both its Creed and Rocky forms, shared his confidence in the decision, stating, “I cannot overstate how thrilled we are to have Michael directing the third film in the Creed series. His commitment to this character has been nothing short of extraordinary, and we know that will extend to his role behind the camera at the helm of this great new installment.”
While no details on Creed III’s plot have come to light, it is known that the film is being written by Keenan Coogler and Zach Baylin, based on an outline from Ryan Coogler, who directed the first Creed film in one of his three collaborations with Jordan. Tessa Thompson and Phylicia Rashad are expected to reprise their roles as Creed’s partner and mother, respectively.