Ryan Coogler recently did the rounds promoting his critically acclaimed Fruitvale Station, during which time the writer-director has fielded questions about another project of his, Rocky spin-off, Creed.
Shifting the focus of the movies, Creed will look at the family of Apollo Creed following his death at the hands of Ivan Drago during Rocky IV. Apollo Creed obviously started off as the rival champion of Rocky in the first two movies, before becoming his friend and coach in the third and fourth movies.
Speaking with IGN, Coogler confirmed that he is negotiating with Sylvester Stallone about producing and appearing in the film but at the same time he reaffirmed that this is not another movie about Rocky himself. “Rocky is such a great character and I think it would be cool to see him again,” the director said. “But more than anything I’ve always been interested in supporting characters. It might just be growing up and seeing people that look like me always relegated to the side, always playing support.”
“When I watch the first one now, I’m really fond of him,” he explained about his choice to focus on Apollo Creed. “Obviously he was based on Muhammad Ali, and if you did a poll of everyone’s favourite athlete, Ali still wins. So he was based on this charismatic guy – outspoken and things – but also I think that Stallone when he wrote that script was playing with stereotypes a little bit… you’ve got this black dude who is successful as an athlete, he’s also very intelligent and a very smart character.”
“Our film is basically about what happened to this dude’s family. Where is his family right now? I feel like if you look at that, it would be ‘What if Muhammad Ali had died in the ring and he was 40-years-old? What would happen to his family?’ That is kind of what the movie is.”
Coogler is currently at work on the script for Creed, which certainly sounds like a very interesting take on the franchise and potentially even Oscar bait. He is set to reunite with Michael B. Jordan (who he is pictured with at the top), who will play Creed’s grandson.
The two worked together on the award winning Fruitvale Station, which was released in UK cinemas earlier this month. Based on the real-life death of Oscar Grant, who was killed by a Fruitvale Bay Area Rapid Transit (BART) Station police officer in Oakland, California. Jordan plays the role of Grant.