The next installment of Rocky’s successor series now has been given a release date, and an unexpected but much-welcome new director.
Creed III is officially set to arrive on 23 November, 2022 — and it will be the first movie directed by Michael B Jordan, who will also reprise his role as Adonis Johnson, the lead character.
Jordan’s career is already something special, the actor having also starred in The Wire and Black Panther among other star turns, so it’s interesting see him take the reins of a project himself for the first time — and after all, who could be better placed to helm the project than its leading man? It certainly worked for co-star Sylvester Stallone, who directed Rocky II, Rocky III, Rocky IV, and Rocky Balboa himself while also stepping into the ring in front of the camera as the legendary Italian Stallion.
But even for an experienced director, this film could be a daunting project. To the surprise of many who had perhaps grown cynical of the seemingly endless Rocky sequels, both Creed and Creed II won critical acclaim and also stormed the box office. It’s hardly surprising to see another film in the series, even if Creed II did deliver a knockout finale worthy of its high-stakes title card, but continuing that success could well prove to be very difficult.
If the third installment of the Creed series (and the ninth Rocky film overall) sticks to the tried and tested formula of moral triumph over adversity, and once again wears its heart of the sleeve of its glitzy boxing robes, then the franchise will probably once again pack a punch at the box office and strike a formidable first blow in Jordan’s directing career. And by late 2022, when the pandemic will hopefully feel like a distant memory, we might even be able to get ring-side seats at the cinema to see it.