After “Creed III” grossed $275 million at the worldwide box office and established Michael B. Jordan as a formidable director, there was never much real doubt about whether the “Rocky” spin-off series would continue. The biggest question was whether Jordan would return to the director’s chair or use his newfound filmmaking clout to pursue other projects.
According to longtime “Rocky” producer Irwin Winkler, Jordan will in fact be back to helm the still-untitled “Creed 4.” In a series of video clips shared by Deadline, Winkler offered an update on the sequel’s strike-delayed development and Jordan’s creative involvement.
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“We’re planning to do ‘Creed 4’ right now. We think we have a really good story, a really good plot,” Winkler said, adding that the project should go into pre-production roughly one year from now.
When asked about Jordan’s interest in directing “Creed 4,” Winkler gave a blunt answer: “I’m not supposed to say, but he will be,” he said to applause.
— Deadline Hollywood (@DEADLINE) November 18, 2023
The long development timeline means that “Creed 4” doesn’t necessarily have to be Jordan’s next directorial outing. While he has yet to announce any other filmmaking projects, he is currently attached to star alongside Will Smith in an “I Am Legend” sequel and lead Chad Stahelski’s upcoming Tom Clancy adaptation “Rainbow Six.”
Whatever narrative direction the series takes next, “Creed 4” will likely happen without the involvement of Sylvester Stallone. Though the actor reprised his role as Rocky Balboa for Ryan Coogler’s “Creed” and took on additional screenwriting duties for “Creed II,” he did not work on “Creed III” and made no secret of his displeasure with Winkler’s stewardship of the franchise.
“This is a classic case of them going around and trying to continually cherry-pick aspects of ‘Rocky’ without even asking me if I want to join in,” Stallone said of “Creed III” in a 2023 interview. “I’m not an executive producer on the ‘Creed’ movies. Ryan Coogler is. Michael B. Jordan is. [Irwin Winkler and Robert Chartoff’s] children are. Not mine. I’m the only one left out.”
In addition to his financial grievances with Winkler, Stallone also said that he disapproved of the creative direction that “Creed III” took.
“That’s a regretful situation because I know what it could have been,” he said. “It was taken in a direction that is quite different than I would’ve taken it. It’s a different philosophy – Irwin Winkler’s and Michael B. Jordan’s. I wish them well, but I’m much more of a sentimentalist. I like my heroes getting beat up, but I just don’t want them going into that dark space. I just feel people have enough darkness.”
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