In October of this year, word broke that Creed franchise star Michael B. Jordan might end up directing Creed III. Now, Jordan’s Creed co-star Tessa Thompson has confirmed just that. Revealing in an interview that Jordan is indeed set to direct the eventual sequel. This would mark Jordan’s directorial debut. And would also follow precedent since Rocky star Sylvester Stallone went on to direct several Rocky sequels.
In his book A Life in Movies: Stories From 50 Years in Hollywood, Rocky and Creed producer Irwin Winkler revealed that star Michael B. Jordan could be stepping behind the camera for another Creed film. “I promised Michael B. Jordan that he’d get his chance to direct Creed III,” Winkler wrote in an excerpt that surfaced in October 2020. “Last year in a conversation with our Creed star Michael B. Jordan, I offered him the opportunity to not only star in, but also to direct Creed III.”
Now, as 2020 comes to a close. We have confirmation on that from another source close to the production: Tessa Thompson. In a video interview promoting her latest film Sylvie’s Love. Thompson was asked if Jordan would be helming Creed III, to which she replied yes while poking good-natured fun at Jordan’s recent coronation as People’s Sexiest Man Alive 2020.
And unless Jordan has a top-secret directorial project he’s going to helm first. That would make Creed III his directorial debut. And in some ways, he’s following tradition. Creed is a spin-off of the Rocky franchise, and Rocky and Creed star Sylvester Stallone ended up directing several Rocky sequels – Rocky II, Rocky III, Rocky IV, and Rocky Balboa.
Beyond Jordan becoming director and returning as star, we don’t know a whole lot about Creed III. At one point, Stallone said he wanted to bring in the son of Clubber Lang, the villain from Rocky III played by Mr. T, for Jordan’s Adonis Creed to fight. There were also reports that the Rocky franchise might start back up again separate from Creed, with Stallone’s Rocky mentoring another young fighter. But we haven’t heard much about that since 2019.
I’ll let the professionals handle this, but in my humble opinion. I really hope Creed III doesn’t use the “son of Clubber Lang” idea. Creed II already brought in the son of Rocky IV‘s Ivan Drago, and to have Jordan’s Adonis Creed keep fighting the sons of Rocky’s former opponents is a tired, boring idea. The first Creed, directed by Ryan Coogler, was fantastic – a great continuation of the Rocky series that also forged its own identity.
Creed II, helmed by Steven Caple Jr., was a bit of a step down. While Jordan remained a compelling lead. And the relationship between Adonis and Rocky remained interesting. Creed II felt too much like a Rocky sequel and not its own thing. My only hope for Creed III is that it gets back to embracing its own identity instead of remaining so beholden to the Rocky series.