New life was breathed into the long-dormant Rocky franchise in 2015 with the release of Creed. Upon its announcement, fans of the 1977 Best Picture winner, and its numerous sequels, were skeptical about Rocky Balboa (Sylvester Stallone) passing the torch to a newer, younger boxing champion. Those fears ultimately proved to be unfounded as Creed not only lived up to the legacy of the franchise, it arguably even surpasses it. Creed is an absolutely masterful reboot that further develops previous characters in a meaningful way, it also introduced a new iconic name to the franchise with Adonis Creed (Michael B. Jordan), the new hero of the franchise and the son of Rocky’s former rival and close friend, Apollo Creed (Carl Weathers).
In the first Creed film, directed by Ryan Coogler (Black Panther), Adonis put a promising career aside to pursue his passion for professional boxing but wanted to do so without standing in his father’s shadow. He seeks out Rocky Balboa, who trains Adonis to not only become a formidable fighter, but also a better human being. Creed II, directed by Steven Caple Jr. (The Land), proved that the first film wasn’t a fluke, crafting a compelling narrative of Adonis becoming a husband and father while also reintroducing the character of Ivan Drago (Dolph Lundgren) and his son Viktor Drago (Florian Munteanu) as fleshed out antagonists.
With Sylvester Stallone officially retiring from the role of Rocky Balboa, it seemed that Creed II would have been the end of the Rocky saga. Yet, not long after Creed II’s release, a third film was announced to be in development. This time, not only will Michael B. Jordan return to play the title character and produce the film, but he’ll also be taking the director’s chair for the first time. With Ryan Coogler still involved as executive producer and Jordan ready to show the world how he can direct a movie, Creed III (2023) is shaping up to be a worthy conclusion to the trilogy. Before Creed III arrives next year, here is everything we know so far about the next chapter in Adonis’s story.
Is There a Trailer for Creed III?
The first official trailer for Creed III made its way online on October 18, 2022, which gave fans their long-awaited first look at the plot of the film, as Damien, an old friend of Adonis’ has recently been released from prison, and plans to take on his brother-figure, who he believes left him behind for a better life. As expected, Stallone’s Rocky Balboa is absent from the trailer, planting the franchise squarely on the shoulders of Adonis Creed.
Set photos have made their way online, showcasing Michael B. Jordan in the directing chair and offering a first look at the latest rival boxer for the franchise, Damien Anderson, played by Lovecraft County (2020) and Loki (2021) star Jonathan Majors. Whether it was to prep a fight with Adonis Creed in the upcoming sequel or to prep a fight with the Avengers in the highly anticipated Avengers: The Kang Dynasty (2025), Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings star Simu Liu jokingly said on Twitter that “the Avengers are straight up effed” in reaction to Majors’ ripped work-out transformation in the Creed III set photos.
We also got a first look at the poster for Creed III at this year’s Licensing Expo in Las Vegas.
When and Where Is Creed III Releasing?
Creed III was initially scheduled for release in November 2022, but it has since been announced that the next chapter in Adonis Creed’s saga will actually be coming out on March 3, 2023. As with the last two films, Creed III is currently expected to premiere in theaters. As for a streaming release, given Prime Video’s recent multi-billion dollar purchase of Rocky franchise owner MGM, that seems like it’ll be the most likely candidate for Creed III’s streaming home.
What Is the Plot of Creed III?
When we last saw Adonis, he had just won a fight with Viktor Drago, ending a long-standing rivalry since Viktor’s father, Ivan Drago, killed Adonis’s own father Apollo Creed in Rocky IV (1985). Essentially every character gets a somewhat happy ending. Adonis makes peace with his family legacy, Rocky is able to reconnect with his estranged family, and even Ivan and Viktor decide to put this petty rivalry aside and focus on building a proper father-son relationship.
The next film in the series will likely focus on Adonis growing even further in becoming a better father to his daughter, and not following in the footsteps of other parental figures in this series who lost connection with their own children.
Who Is Making Creed III?
Michael B. Jordan taking on directorial duties likely means that this will be one of his most personal stories yet. The actor of such an iconic character rarely gets to direct the role’s story in addition to playing it, and it feels appropriate given that Sylvester Stallone directed the first four Rocky movies as well as Rocky Balboa (2006). Original Creed director and frequent collaborator with Michael B. Jordan Ryan Coogler will also be executive producing Creed III, along with his partner Zinzi Coogler (Judas and the Black Messiah). Ryan Coogler has also been given a story writing credit while his brother Keenan Coogler (Space Jam: A New Legacy) writes the screenplay with co-writer Zach Baylin (King Richard).
Ludwig Göransson (The Mandalorian) will not be returning to compose the score after working on the first two films, with duties being taken over this time by his Book of Boba Fett (2022) co-composer, Joseph Shirley. Returning from Creed II are cinematographer Kramer Morgenthau (The Many Saints of Newark) and costume designer Lizz Wolf (Jupiter’s Legacy), with the rest of the crew being rounded out by editor Tyler Nelson (The Batman), production designer Jahmin Assa (Mid90s), and casting director Alexa L. Fogel (Judas and the Black Messiah).