The “Rocky” spinoff flick starring Michael B. Jordan in the title role and Stallone reprising his part as Rocky Balboa, now his trainer, earned $42.6 million during its opening week. The boxing drama fared well in third place against bowing franchise “The Hunger Games – Mocking Jay Part II,” which took in $75.8 million, and followed behind Disney-Pixar’s “The Good Dinosaur,” which scored $56 million.
Kudos rolled in from major national and regional critics-group, earning “Creed” the Black Film Critics Circle’s Best Picture award, recognition as one of the National Board of Review’s top films of the year, a Golden Globe supporting actor nod for Stallone, and the African-American Film Critics Association Best Director award for Ryan Coogler, who also received the Los Angeles Film Critics Association’s New Generation award.
Naturally, Coogler–who wrote and directed the picture–would be the best choice to continue the film, but he’s committed to helming the forthcoming Marvel “Black Panther” movie in a two-year deal, Stallone said.
“I know Ryan is probably going to be gone for a couple years,” he said. “So there will be a quandary on: Do we work with another director and have Ryan produce, or do we wait? There’s a diminishing time acceptance of a sequel. Now they are cranking them out in a year.”
Admittedly, Stallone–who penned the first film in the underdog saga in 1976, which earned 10 Oscar nominations, winning three statues, including Best Picture, Best Director and Best Film Editing, as well as nods for Best Actor and Best Original Screenplay–only participated in front of the camera to revive his character.
Though he wrote all five previous sequels, he relinquished creative control of “Creed” because “it’s a whole new generation,” he revealed to Ellen DeGeneres while promoting the film. “What worked in my generation doesn’t exactly work in this generation,” he said.
Stallone explained that Coogler approached him with the idea of continuing the Rocky story through his former rival-turned-friend Apollo Creed’s (played by Carl Weathers) illegitimate son, Adonis Johnson Creed, played by Michael B. Jordan.
Coogler’s formula proved to be a hit with moviegoers and sparked some inspiration in Stallone, who collaborated with Coogler on potential new storylines.
Speaking to Variety, the 69-year-old explained a sequel idea that could reunite his Rocky with Carl Weathers, whose Creed died after a knockout-blow in the ring in “Rocky IV.”
“Ryan has some ideas of going forward and backward and actually seeing Rocky and Apollo together,” Stallone said, adding, “Think of ‘The Godfather 2.’ That’s what he was thinking of, which was kind of ambitious.”
Continuing, Stallone suggested a linear storyline with Jordan’s Creed and a rival.
“You’ll have him face a different opponent, which I would say is a more ferocious, big Russian… You can start to meld my experiences and then you start to bring different cultures into it. And you can see what’s happening with the Russians today in America,” he explained.
“The complication will come with the girl’s ambition (Adonis Creed’s love interest Bianca, played by Tessa Thompson), because she’s not Adrian. She has places to go, things to see, the clock is running on her hearing.”