Michael B. Jordan isn’t a name that’s too familiar yet, even if he did give one of the best performances of 2013 in Fruitvale Station. Well, Jordan’s role as Oscar Grant led him to take up many big budget offers, including the Rocky spinoff, Creed. Yes, Jordan will be playing Apollo Creed’s grandson in an upcoming film that will be directed by none other than Fruitvale Station’s Ryan Coogler.
Sylvester Stallone will be reprising his role as the iconic Rocky Balboa—who went toe-to-toe with Carl Weathers as Apollo Creed—serving as the trainer for the prizefighter. Jordan is a more than capable actor for the role, and has experience playing an athlete, as he’s proven in the television series Friday Night Lights where he played quarterback Vince Howard.
“We’ve got Sylvester Stallone coming back as Rocky Balboa, which is a really big deal to get his approval and permission to take this franchise into another direction. I’m excited. Carl Weathers, his Apollo Creed is such an iconic character. To be able to play his grandson and start boxing training and get into the mind state of a fighter, I’m really excited about it,” Jordan told Chris Strauss of For the Win.
Sure, it’s another film that’s riding off the success of a classic; however, if it’s done right, Rocky fans and film heads should be satisfied regardless. Jordan is a very talented young actor who has shown that he’s capable of being a leading man. Coogler in the director’s chair is another good sign for this film, and of course Stallone’s participation and blessing can’t hurt either. If a sequel or prequel is going to happen for any film, it needs to be done with just as much care as an original idea. Coogler is a hungry director, and this is his second outing with the equally hungry Jordan, so the film is in good hands. This may be the film that gets both of them on the path to the A-list.
The Jordan-Coogler duo is definitely a plus for this film, but do we really want a Creed film in the first place? I suppose it isn’t something that’s been anticipated, but it does beat the idea of another Rocky-centered film. The challenge in this movie is to make it about Creed’s grandson and have Rocky in a supporting role, and it’s up to Jordan to outshine Stallone in his own franchise. There will also be some real boxing talent in the film to add authenticity, as the current WBA super middleweight champion Andrew Ward will be participating, alongside heavyweight Tony Bellew.
If anything, the world will be more aware of another talented Jordan to look out for with the release of this film. At the end of the day, boxing’s a captivating metaphor for life, and people should respond if the cards are played correctly. The biggest question: will Creed’s grandson sport the American flag boxing trunks? We wait in anticipation for the answer that will tame our hunger.
In the meantime, check out Fruitvale Station.