'Creed' Premiere: Michael B. Jordan, Sylvester Stallone Talk About Honoring 'Rocky's' Legacy
"Sylvester basically took the pressure off of me not to try to compete with him and what he did," Jordan, who plays the son of Rocky's opponent Apollo Creed in the spinoff film, told THR about taking on the lead role.
Forty years following the release of Rocky, Michael B. Jordan and Sylvester Stallone strutted down the black carpet together on Thursday night for the premiere of spinoff film Creed at the Regency Village Theatre in Westwood.
The movie stars Jordan as Adonis, the son of legendary boxer Apollo Creed. Trying to make a name for himself and live up to his late father’s legacy, he reunites with Apollo’s old friend and boxing opponent, Rocky Balboa, played by Stallone.
On the carpet at the film's premiere, Stallone said that coming back was a huge leap of faith, but he was inspired by director-writer Ryan Coogler’s storyline.
"You can either let Rocky go off into the sunset, or you can believe in youth and the young kid’s ambition, and I saw what kind of passion he had and what he sacrificed because after Fruitvale Station, he was offered everything," he said.
Jordan originally felt a little nervous about coming into such an iconic movie. "Sylvester basically took the pressure off of me not to try to compete with him and what he did. He told me to be myself and that he was here to support me," he recalled. "I think hearing those words from him really took the pressure off of me and allowed me to be the best that I could."
Irwin Winkler, who produced the previous Rocky films, named Creed as his favorite installment in the franchise for its "very different" approach to the story.
"Rocky is this wonderful character who has his own life and his own attitude; he’s his own being in his own little universe. And Ryan and Michael B. Jordan brought a whole different attitude toward him," Winkler said. "It’s much younger, it’s much hipper, but still has a lot of the Rocky feel to it."
Philadelphia native Gabriel Rosado, who plays Adonis’ first major opponent in the ring, is proud to be a part of the classic he grew up watching. He believes the reason the Rocky legacy is so everlasting is "the story, the struggle, the come-up — everybody could relate to that blue-collar worker, the guy that gets up in the morning, does the 9 to 5, that’s what Rocky represents."
Gary Barber, chairman and CEO of MGM, showed his support for the film at the premiere, along with his wife, Nadine Barber, and Jonathan Glickman, president of MGM’s Motion Picture Group.
Others in attendance included Tessa Thompson, Janelle Monae, Oscar De La Hoya and Blair Redford.