In 2016, just 10 years after the release of “Rocky Balboa”, a new installment in the “Rocky” franchise was born. Indeed, Ryan Coogler is directing “Creed: The Legacy of Rocky Balboa”. And like all the films of the license, the feature film offers more real-than-life fights.
Creed: a new era
In 2006, Sylvester Stallone bids farewell to Rocky in the excellent Rocky Balboa. We thought we were done with the famous boxer. Yet ten years later, director Ryan Coogler and his favorite actor Michael B. Jordan are teaming up to make reborn Rocky from the ashes.
The filmmaker thus proposes Creed: The Legacy of Rocky Balboa, an all-new story that focuses on Adonis Johnson, the son of Apollo Creed. Besides the presence of Michael B. Jordan in the title role, the rest of the cast includes Tessa Thompson and Sylvester Stallone back as Rocky. The latter offers a touching performance in the shoes of a mentor on the decline. So much so that Sly was even an Oscar nominee for Best Supporting Actor.
The film met with some success. For a budget of 73 million dollars, Creed earns more than 173 million at the box office. A success that prompted Warner to produce Creed IIand soon Creed III which has just started filming.
Like all movies Rocky, Creed features mind-blowing fight scenes. Ryan Coogler wanted to respect a form of realism specific to all the films of the license. Thus, like Robert De Niro before him on a raging bull or more recently Jake Gyllenhaal in Rage in the stomach, Michael B. Jordan had drastic training to step into the shoes of Adonis Creed. The comedian trained constantly and submitted to a very strict diet of chicken, brown rice, broccoli, and 5 liters of water a day.
He also trained with professionals and especially Robert Sale, a boxing trainer and technical advisor who often offers his expertise in the seventh art. In particular, he worked on the Return match and Rocky Balboa.
Michael B. Jordan, therefore, went to the Powerhouse Gym sports center in Burbank where he learned to become a jump rope expert. Robert Sale also advised the actor to choose a real boxer to copy his style and gain credibility in the film. Michael B. Jordan chose Timothy Bradley, the 2008 world super-lightweight champion.
Beware of real boxers
To push the realism even further, Ryan Coogler hired real boxers for his movie. Thus, in Creed, Michael B. Jordan faces in particular three professionals of this sport: Anthony Bellew, Andre Ward, and Gabriel Rosado. The filmmaker has also recruited other industry professionals such as Coach Ricardo Padman McGillthe boxer Malik Bazille or the cutman Jacob Stitch Duran.
Inevitably, when the actor finds himself facing real boxers, things can get out of hand quickly. Especially since Sylvester Stallone gave him a little surprise during the filming of Creed :
When you shoot on a Rocky, you have to go through a kind of integration in which you have to be demolished by a guy bigger than you.