AFI Movie Club: CREED
Sylvester Stallone’s iconic character passes the gloves to a new generation of Philadelphia fighter in Ryan Coogler’s CREED, starring Michael B. Jordan as Adonis Johnson. This new addition to the Rocky franchise was produced by AFI alum William Chartoff (Class of 1989).
In this exclusive video from the AFI Archive, Sylvester Stallone talks about the characters he likes to portray:
Movie Trivia About CREED
DID YOU KNOW? Director Ryan Coogler was in pre-production on FRUITVALE STATION when he first met with Sylvester Stallone to discuss CREED.
DID YOU KNOW? Initially, Sylvester Stallone was dead set against reprising the role of Rocky in CREED. According to Stallone, it was a struggle to get ROCKY BALBOA done and he was happy with the conclusion to Rocky’s story. He was inspired by Ryan Coogler’s take on the story and encouraged to return to the role by his wife – and chastened by his agent’s comment that, “for a guy who played Rocky, you’re kind of a chicken.”
DID YOU KNOW? Writer/director Ryan Coogler penned the script along with Aaron Covington, making CREED the first ROCKY film that Sylvester Stallone did not write. They consulted the star while developing the story in order to nail down Rocky’s distinctive voice – and, according to Stallone, he still helped rewrite some of Rocky’s scenes to get the right tempo of the character. Stallone said this made it easier for him to perform the part.
DID YOU KNOW? CREED was inspired by writer/director Ryan Coogler’s own father. Coogler says that he had become a fan of the ROCKY series because of his dad. When his father came down with an illness that weakened him, Coogler came up with the idea to refresh the franchise while also telling a very personal story.
DID YOU KNOW? In CREED, Rocky steps into the role of the trainer of Adonis Johnson, just like Burgess Meredith’s Mickey had been to Rocky in the 1976 classic. At the time of CREED’s release, Sylvester Stallone was the same age as Meredith when the original film first came out.
DID YOU KNOW? According to Michael B. Jordan, to get into shape to play Adonis in CREED, he worked out two to three times a day, six days a week for a year and half. He also boxed three to four days a week for eight months. With his intensive regimen, Jordan added 24 pounds of pure muscle to his body.
DID YOU KNOW? According to Sylvester Stallone, a tradition across the ROCKY movies was for him to take a real punch from each opponent during filming in order to make the fight look as authentic as possible. This tradition continued into CREED, with Michael B. Jordan taking multiple real punches from professional fighter Tony Bellew, who played his opponent ‘Pretty’ Ricky Conlan in the film. According to Jordan, it felt like he was in a car accident for the next four days after the scene was shot.
DID YOU KNOW? During a pivotal scene in CREED, Michael B. Jordan’s Adonis is wearing a shirt that says “Why do you wanna fight? …. because I can’t sing or dance.” This is a nod to the first ROCKY film – when Adrian asked Rocky the same question, and that was Rocky’s response.
DID YOU KNOW? Sylvester Stallone became only the sixth person to be nominated twice for the Academy Award® for playing the same character. Stallone received an Oscar® nomination for Best Actor in 1976 and for Supporting Actor in 2016 – both for playing Rocky Balboa.
Learn more at the AFI Catalog.
-Why does Adonis go to Rocky to train him?
-How does Rocky enhance Adonis’ raw skills as a fighter?
-How does Adonis help Rocky learn how to fight again?
-Why does Rocky apologize to Adonis when he shows a moment of weakness that stops a training session?
-What does the weakness of an iconic character like Rocky represent to the fans of the franchise?
-Why does Adonis want to finish the fight at the end? Does he feel that way after the fight?
-Why was the result of the fight at the end of the film not as important as the effort of Adonis in the last round?
-Why does Adonis call Rocky “Unc”? What is Adonis and Rocky’s relationship by the end of the film?
-As discussed in CREED, who do you think really won the fight at the end of ROCKY III?
-How would you rate CREED?
New to AFI Movie Club? Want to learn more?
AFI has created a global, virtual gathering of those who love the movies. Each day’s film is accompanied by fun facts, family-friendly discussion points and material from the AFI Archive to enrich your viewing experience.
Learn more in our FAQ section.