Sunday, 30 November 2014

Rocky spin-off Creed set to shoot in January

Announced last summer, the Rocky spin-off Creed has since been gaining muscle at studio MGM.
News now arrives via The Hollywood Reporter the film is lacing up its gloves ready for a January shoot, possibly meaning we could see it by the end of next year. Ryan Coogler is directing, with his Fruitvale Station (2013) star Michael B. Jordan taking the lead and Sylvester Stallone returning as Rocky Balboa. Champion boxers Andre Ward and Tony Bellew are also in negotiations to get in the ring.

The story, from what we know so far, centres on Apollo Creed's son Adonis (Jordan), a young man whose family has tried to keep him away from the ring but whose natural talents as a pugilist draw him there anyway. Stallone will be easing into the Burgess Meredith role as Creed's trainer – a Rocky who has left the world of boxing behind and has no real desire to return until he meets the new protégé. Bellew will be Creed's main opponent, "Pretty Ricky Porter". Ward's role remains unspecified at present.

The original Creed, of course, was played by Carl Weathers, and served as the big rival to Rocky in the first two films. The pair eventually became close friends, until Dolph Lundgren's Ivan Drago killed Creed in Rocky IV (1985). So you can understand why Rocky might be a little concerned about Adonis putting on the gloves.

That direct line back to the original series intriguingly makes this a sort of Rocky VII as well as its own beast, so we're genuinely looking forward to seeing what comes of it.

Stallone is also producing, along with Robert Chartoff (Rocky), Kevin King Templeton (The Expendables) and Irwin Winkler (Rocky). Coogler wrote the screenplay with Aaron Covington, and filming is set to take place in Las Vegas and Philadelphia.

We'll also see Jordan next year as Johnny Storm in The Fantastic Four. And we'll next see Stallone in the ensemble drama Reach Me, which goes straight to DVD in the UK at the end of December.

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