MICHAEL B. JORDAN: ON FAMILY, FATHERHOOD AND THE FIGHT OF HIS LIFE IN “CREED II”

Creed 2

 

From Metro Goldwyn Mayer Pictures and Warner Bros. Pictures and Chartoff Winkler Productions comes Creed II, with Michael B. Jordan, three-time Academy Award nominee Sylvester Stallone, and Tessa Thompson reprising their leading roles in the next chapter of the Adonis Creed story, which follows the young boxer’s life inside and outside of the ring as he deals with newfound fame, family, his father’s legacy, and his continuing quest to become a champion.

Since arriving in Philadelphia from California three years ago to train with retired former heavyweight champion Rocky Balboa (Stallone), Adonis (Jordan) has found love and success. Under his mentor, coach, and “uncle” Rocky’s tutelage, Adonis has risen quickly in the professional boxing world as a heavyweight title contender. He and his longtime love, Bianca (Thompson), the beautiful and talented singer-songwriter who is a rising music star in her own right, are now ready to make a commitment and start a family. His adoptive mother, Mary Anne Creed (Phylicia Rashad), who had hoped Adonis would not follow in the footsteps of his father, has accepted his choice, recognizing in her son the talent and passion that made her late husband one of boxing’s greatest champions.

Adonis should be on top of the world — but instead, he’s struggling to reconcile the doubt he feels on the inside with the acceptance and adulation he’s receiving from the world. As the illegitimate son of former heavyweight champion Apollo Creed — who died in the ring before he was born — Adonis is grappling with his legacy and life in the celebrity spotlight. Despite his success, Adonis is afraid of not living up to expectations, especially his own. He questions his abilities, and wonders if he’s fought the best and is worthy of being a champion.

It’s not long before an opponent steps forward who forces Adonis to confront his doubts and answer those questions: a young, undefeated heavyweight contender, Viktor Drago (Florian “Big Nasty” Munteanu) — son of Ivan Drago (Dolph Lundgren), the Russian boxer who killed Apollo in the ring three decades earlier — publicly challenges Adonis for what the boxing world labels a historic next-generation “Creed vs. Drago” showdown.

For Adonis, who wants to avenge his father’s death, taking on Drago’s son in a hyped-up title bout is more than just a fight. But for Rocky, who fears that history will repeat itself if these vengeance-seeking sons square-off, there’s much more to lose than just a title.

“I think Adonis has felt like an underdog ever since he became champion,” says Jordan of his character. “I don’t think he ever felt like a champ. He never felt like he was the sure-win, which is an interesting thing to play. He’s always felt like he has something to prove. He wonders: why do I feel empty? Why do I not feel complete?” Before Adonis can answer those questions and move forward, he must first look back. His connection to his late father always seemed to be like a fighter shadow-boxing; unable to wrap his arms around the ways he’s the same or different from Apollo, Adonis can only measure himself by legend and lore, stories and symbolism. Even Rocky and Mary Anne can only do so much to help the young man whose past contained multiple paths know where he came from.

“Out of nowhere, this blast from the past arrives which forces Adonis to go down a dark road, to really reflect on and figure out why he fights, and if he really has what it takes to be a great fighter,” concludes Jordan. “This film shows that sometimes you have to go through darkness and the fire to realize what’s important. You have to face your fears and go through pain.”

In Philippine cinemas November 28, “Creed II” is distributed worldwide by Warner Bros. Pictures, a Warner Bros. Entertainment Company.

CREED II RETURNS TO THE RING AS PRODUCTION BEGINS

Creed 2, michael jordan, sylvester stallone

Production begins today in Philadelphia on Metro Goldwyn Mayer Pictures (MGM) and Warner Bros. Pictures’ Creed II, starring Michael B. Jordan and Sylvester Stallone, reprising their roles of Adonis Creed and Rocky Balboa respectively. Creed II is the continuation of the Rocky saga and sequel to the 2015 critically acclaimed and crowd-pleasing 2015 hit Creed, which took in more than $170 million at the worldwide box office. Ryan Coogler (Black Panther), who directed the first film, returns to the franchise as an executive producer on Creed II. The new film is being directed by Steven Caple Jr., who helmed the acclaimed 2016 drama The Land.

“When I wrote and directed Creed, I wanted to tell a human story about a family from a new perspective, while also paying homage to the Rocky characters we’ve all grown up knowing and loving. I’ve known Steven was an amazing filmmaker since our days at USC film school together, so I can’t wait to see what he, Sly, Mike and Tessa bring to this next chapter,” said Coogler.

Caple Jr. said, “It’s an honor to be a part of the franchise and work with such a thoughtful team. I got involved because I’ve always been a Rocky fan and I enjoy stories with heart and substance. But when Ryan put his touch on Creed I felt another level of connection to the franchise. It started to feel personal for many different reasons. This next Creed is a tale beyond the boxing ring and dives deep into family, legacy, and fears. I’m excited to share my view and collaborate with the talented cast and crew.”

“Ryan and Steven are voices for their generation and their shared vision for Creed has brought the Rocky franchise to an entirely new audience. We know audiences will continue to embrace the legacy that Sly created so many years ago,” said producer Irwin Winkler.

Life has become a balancing act for Adonis Creed. Between personal obligations and training for his next big fight, he is up against the challenge of his life. Facing an opponent with ties to his family’s past only intensifies his impending battle in the ring. Rocky Balboa is there by his side through it all and, together, Rocky and Adonis will confront their shared legacy, question what’s worth fighting for, and discover that nothing’s more important than family. Creed II is about going back to basics to rediscover what made you a champion in the first place, and remembering that, no matter where you go, you can’t escape your history.

Also reprising their roles from the first film are Tessa Thompson as Bianca, Phylicia Rashad as Mary Anne, Wood Harris as Tony ‘Little Duke’ Burton, and Andre Ward as Danny ‘Stuntman’ WheelerThe new cast is rounded out with Florian “The Big Nasty” Munteanu as Viktor Drago, Dolph Lundgren returning to the role of Ivan Drago, and Russell Hornsby as Buddy Marcelle. Creed II will be distributed theatrically in the U.S. by MGM on November 21, 2018, and Warner Bros. Pictures will distribute the film internationally.

Caple Jr. directs from an original screenplay written by Stallone based on characters from the Rocky franchise. The film is produced by Irwin Winkler, Charles Winkler, William Chartoff, David Winkler, Kevin King-Templeton and Stallone. Coogler, Jordan and Guy Riedel will executive produce.

Collaborating with Caple Jr. is a creative team led by director of photography Kramer Morgenthau (Thor: The Dark WorldGame of Thrones); production designer Franco Carbone (The Expendables, Billionaire Boys Club); costume designers Lizz Wolf (A Single Man, Dreamgirls); art director Jesse Rosenthal (Black Panther, Trumbo); fight coordinator Daniel Hernandez (Avengers: Infinity War, The Fate of the Furious); technical boxing advisor Robert Sale (Grudge Match, Ali); special effects coordinator Patrick White (Baby Driver, Deepwater Horizon) and VFX producer Crystal Dowd (Straight Outta Compton, Pitch Perfect 2). Filming will take place primarily in Philadelphia with additional locations in New Mexico.

Creed, directed by Coogler, was released by Metro Goldwyn Mayer Pictures, Warner Bros. Pictures and New Line Cinema in November 2015 and went on to garner many honors for Stallone, including a Golden Globe Award for Best Performance by an Actor in a Supporting Role in a Motion Picture, and an Academy Award nomination for Best Performance by an Actor in a Supporting Role.