Deadline has mentioned it was going to happen numerous times, but Michael B. Jordan has now committed to a step up to a new title: director. He’ll helm the third installment of Creed, per MGM, which has dated the film for Thanksgiving 2022.
Jordan’s big moment — this is his directorial debut — was spoiled by his onscreen leading lady Tessa Thompson as a toss-away in an online interview. But most knew this was in the cards for several years since Irwin Winkler, producer of the original Rocky films and the Creed spinoffs, revealed that Jordan was going to be the director of the third film.
Script is by Keenan Coogler and Zach Baylin, based on an outline by Ryan Coogler. Aside from Thompson, Phylicia Rashad is also back. Not mentioned is whether Sylvester Stallone will answer the bell and bring his Rocky Balboa back.
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Jordan has already shown he has the ring chops to play Apollo Creed’s son Adonis Johnson, and he has been learning from some fine filmmakers in Ryan Coogler and now Denzel Washington, who is directing Jordan in Journal For Jordan, a fact-based drama about 1st Sgt. Charles Monroe King, who was killed in action in Baghdad, and the journal he wrote for his son on how to live a good life despite not having his father to guide him. That film is currently shooting in New York for Sony Pictures.
Jordan’s rise has been methodical and the expectation here is that he’ll step to the challenge of this new title in fine fashion, as he has in transitioning from youth roles in the TV series The Wire and Friday Night Lights to adult roles in films including his Coogler collaborations Fruitvale Station, Creed and Black Panther. As an actor, he’ll launch a new franchise at Amazon as part of a colossal movie/TV/multi-platform deal he made there with the adaptation of Tom Clancy’s Without Remorse, which bows April 30.
A Chartoff-Winkler Production, Creed III‘s producers include Irwin Winkler, Charles Winkler, William Chartoff, David Winkler, Jonathan Glickman, Jordan and Ryan Coogler in association with Proximity Media. Executive producers include Adam Rosenberg, Sev Ohanian and Zinzi Coogler.
Now, the quotes:
Said Michael De Luca, MGM’s Film Group chairman, and Pamela Abdy, MGM’s Film Group president, “Michael’s vision for Creed III is incredibly exciting and will undoubtedly be an important contribution to the cannon of this storied franchise. We are thrilled to bring his directorial debut, and share this next chapter in the Creed story, to theaters next year.”
Said Jordan: “Directing has always been an aspiration, but the timing had to be right. Creed III is that moment — a time in my life where I’ve grown more sure of who I am, holding agency in my own story, maturing personally, growing professionally, and learning from the Greats like Ryan Coogler, most recently Denzel Washington, and other top tier directors I respect. All of which sets the table for this moment. This franchise and in particular the themes of Creed III are deeply personal to me. I look forward to sharing the next chapter of Adonis Creed’s story with the awesome responsibility of being its director and namesake.”
Said Winkler, “I cannot overstate how thrilled we are to have Michael directing the third film in the Creed series. His commitment to this character has been nothing short of extraordinary, and we know that will extend to his role behind the camera at the helm of this great new installment.”
“The films of Sylvester Stallone’s Rocky franchise have always been important to me and my family. It was an honor to help bring the Creed franchise to life with Sly, Michael, Tessa, Irwin, and all the creative parties involved. I couldn’t be more thrilled to see Mike in the director’s chair on the third installment. The team at Proximity and I are excited about the story Keenan and Zach have crafted and can’t wait to help bring it to life,” stated producer Ryan Coogler.
The Creed series of films have earned nearly $400 million at the global box office.
Jordan is represented by M88, WME and Ziffren.
Creed III will be released theatrically in the U.S. via MGM’s distribution and marketing joint venture United Artists Releasing, on November 23, 2022.