Black Panther star Michael B. Jordan has stepped back into the ring and behind the camera for next March's Creed III, but he won't be joined by Sylvester Stallone as Rocky Balboa this time.
The legendary actor appeared in the first two movies, and even earned an Oscar nomination for his work in Creed. However, his clash with the franchise's producers has ensured he's done playing Rocky, though there are supposedly still plans for a prequel with a new actor taking over.
Stallone first confirmed he won't be part of the threequel last April, and has since been somewhat critical of the direction Jordan has chosen to take the franchise in.
During a recent interview with Empire (via ActioNewz.com), the actor and filmmaker addressed Stallone's absence from Creed III, explaining how the movie will continue to honour the legacy of Rocky while also prioritising Adonis' story.
"It’s really diving into the Creed universe and having him evolve, start his own family and go through his own trials and tribulations in life," Jordan said, explaining how the focus is now shifting more to the boxing franchise's title character. "It’s allowed Adonis to stand on his own two feet and use the wisdom he’s learned from Rocky in the other two films."
"I think it’s in the spirit of Rocky, whose fingerprints will always and forever be on this franchise. The essence of him is still there. But at the same time, the Creed franchise is moving in a strong direction."
While it's a shame Rocky is being sidelined, he's always been a supporting player in the Creed movies, and we really can't complain about Jordan's Adonis getting more screentime. Seeing him emerge from the shadow cast by the iconic character will be welcomed, especially as he's in for the fight of his life against Jonathan Majors' Damian Anderson.
However, those two don't exactly look like enemies in the still below...
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