Black Panther's Michael B. Jordan Releases Directorial Debut, Creed III, with Co-stars Jonathan Majors and Tessa Thompson

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Black Panther’s Killmonger actor Michael B. Jordan is set to make his directorial debut with Creed III. Jordan will be returning as Adonis ‘Donnie’ Creed, son of Rocky Balboa’s opponent, Apollo Creed, and will also be set in the ring with Kang the Conqueror star Jonathan Majors’ Damian ‘Dame’ Anderson in the film. Valkyrie star Tessa Thompson will also be reprising her role as Bianca Taylor, Adonis’ wife. Creed III is now a part of a trilogy that focuses on a ‘man following in the footsteps of his late father, Apollo Creed, and getting a mentor in the now-retired Rocky Balboa.’

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The Creed movies contain fictional characters and are not based on a true story, and was created as a way to branch out the Rocky franchise with Michael B. Jordan taking the lead and Sylvester Stallone’s Rocky as a mentor. The first movie was helmed by Black Panther director Ryan Coogler, who also wrote the film’s screenplay with Aaron Covington. Coogler started this project to pay tribute to his father, who suffered from a medical condition that reduced his muscles in size, being a huge Rocky fan. Unfortunately, he did not continue to make the film’s next projects.

Why Michael B. Jordan Decided to Take The Lead in Creed III

On a press conference, written on Variety, Jordan explained why he decided to take the wheel in Creed III:

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“For me, it was the perfect time. Growing up on set and in the industry for over 20 years, starting out doing background work and extra work and just kind of- just seeing the sets evolve, seeing everybody’s job, seeing how a real production storytelling took place, I finally got to this place in my career where I wanted to tell a story and not just be in front of the camera, not just execute somebody else’s vision.”

In fact, Jordan assured he first approached Coogler about the possibility of directing his own films while filming the first movie in 2015, and Coogler responded with a piece of advice: “He was just like, ‘It’s never the right time. You’ve just got to jump in the deep end and go for it.’

Jordan admits Creed III being ‘the most challenging thing’ he has ever done so far. He recalls the time he watched previous filmmakers being a little run-down and exhausted, now understanding the difference in workload.

“I would empathize with them and say, ‘It’s okay, man, I get it.’ I did not get anything. It’s only now I can really look them in the eye and say, ‘I get it. I understand.’ And they’re like, ‘Yeah, you finally get it.’ It’s an acknowledgement, you know, when you step behind the camera, the undertaking that is. From outside looking in it seems tough, but it’s extremely hard to do.”

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Michael B. Jordan’s Take On Creed III

Jordan shared that the story has always been family-centric, which is why it was also focused on Donnie and Bianca’s lives pre- and post-marriage, parenthood, and leading careers as young adults.

He also notes that the story focuses on the importance of facing your past to ‘find out who you really are’, all the while remembering where you come from.

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“This movie has a lot of me in it and hopefully a lot of other people, as well. I wanted to create a story where everybody felt that they could relate to something.”

Creed III is the ninth installment in the Rocky film franchise and the third in the Creed spinoff series. Creed III will hit theaters on March 3, 2023.

Also Read: Black Panther Director Ryan Coogler Reveals Important Question That Drove Wakanda Forever