CREED (2015) Official Trailer Keeps ROCKY References To A Minimum
Sylvestor Stallone’s first ‘Rocky’ movie redefined the underdog story, and in some ways became the archetype for every sports movie that featured a come-from-behind success story. The movie portrayed an aging Rocky Balboa with no prospects in life, pursuing his dreams and achieving moral victory by the end; the stuff of legend. The following films in the franchise all dealt with similarly heavy hearted themes of perseverence, love, determination and passion. Each movie had the characters grow and evolve to deal with new issues as their lives and circumstances changed, including the final Rocky movie ‘Balboa‘. Spinning off of that franchise, a supporting character’s son gets the limelight as ‘Creed’ releases its official trailer, focusing more on a story of substance than the expected references to that franchise, trying to cash in on it’s brand name.
‘Creed’ Stars Michael B. Jordan (‘Fruitvale Station’) as Adonis Creed, son of Apollo Creed played in the Rocky franchise by Carl Weathers. The son of Rocky’s best friend goes through life wanting to live up to his father’s legacy. His dream comes true as he arrives in Philadelphia wishing to be trained by the legend that he’s apparently always heard of, but never met, going by the surprise on Rocky’s face as the boy introduces himself. The focus of the film seems to be similar to that of the first ‘Rocky‘; an up and coming fighter struggling through the rigours of everyday life and relationships in order to make it in the Boxing world. While ‘Rocky‘ centered around a well-past-his-prime Balboa, ‘Creed‘ shows a younger fighter with his entire career ahead of him.
Sylvester Stallone reprises his role as one of the characters that made him famous, now, for the 7th time. Although the Trailer doesn’t seem to feature much of Stallone, it’s safe to assume that a portion of the film will feature the kind of mentor-protege dynamic between Stallone’s Balboa and Jordan’s Adonis, similar to how Weather’s Appolo mentored the young Rocky in earlier films of the franchise. Looking like a ‘Rocky‘ for a new generation, ‘Creed‘ should be an intriguing new addition to the franchise, while possibly attempting to carve out it’s own franchise.
Michael B. Jordan received critical praise for his work in ‘Fruitvale Station‘, the debut film of director Ryan Coogler, who is also writing and directing ‘Creed‘. The fact that the young director has decided to work with the actor in both of his films thus far, is a testament to Jordan’s work ethic, if nothing else. Coincidentally, Josh Trank, director of the upcoming ‘Fantastic Four’ from Fox, worked with Jordan in his debut film ‘Chronicle’, and is working with him yet again in the reboot where Jordan plays Johnny Storm / Human Torch, amidst lots of controversy. This is the first film of the ‘Rocky‘ franchise that isn’t being written or directed by Sylvester Stallone himself, although the star is producing the film.
While not a direct sequel to the Rocky franchise, it should be interesting to see how much of the events of those films are referred to in the film, especially in order to develop the backstory for Stallone’s character. While remakes and classic franchises are being reinvigorated, it’s only appropriate that one of the more engaging human dramas is returning for a new age in a new world, where boxing may not seem as the honourable exhibition of fisticuffs it may have been in the ’70s during the release of ‘Rocky’. It should be intriguing to see how the story tackles the mainstream commercialism of prize fighting in this day and age.
‘Creed’ releases November 25th, 2015. Starring Michael B. Jordan, Sylvester Stallone & Phylicia Rashad; Written and directed by Ryan Coogler.