Creed is an English-language sports movie written and directed by Ryan Coogler. He was assisted in the writing process by Aaron Covington and Sylvester Stallone. It is the seventh part of the Rocky series and comes after Rocky Balboa, which was released in 2006. Its cast includes Michael B. Jordan, Sylvester Stallone, Tony Bellew, Phylicia Rashad, Graham McTavish, and Tessa Thompson.
Initially, Rocky Balboa would be the series’ last film. However, Metro- Goldwyn Mayer wanted to make a Rocky spinoff and started its development in 2013. The film was released theatrically on November 25, 2015.
The story deals with Adonis Donnie Johnson, the son of former heavyweight champion Apollo Creed.
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Is Creed A Real-Life Story?
No, Creed is not a real-life story. It is a part of the Rocky series created by Sylvester Stallone. He wrote the screenplay for Rocky within three and a half days after watching the championship fight between Muhammad Ali and Chuck Wepner held at Richfield Coliseum in Richfield, Ohio, on March 24, 1975. Wepner was TKO’d by Ali in the 15th round, with everyone expecting him to last much lesser.
Although the fight urged Stallone to start writing Rocky, he has denied that Wepner has any relation with the script. Similarities from the script of the film also had personalities of boxers like Joe Frazier and Rocky Marciano and the autobiography of Rocky Graziano, Somebody Up There Likes Me, which also has a movie of the same name. After Wepner sued Stallone, their suit got settled for an undisclosed amount.
Stallone’s fellow actor Henry Winkler took the script to the ABC network. They admired the script and showed interest in it, thus buying it. However, they wanted to rewrite it with a different writer. Stallon knew about this and pleaded to Winkler to get their script back. While ABC initially refused, they agreed after Winkler used the influence he had gained after working for so many years for the network.
Sylvester Stallone then sent the script to his agents, who showed the script to various producers from Hollywood but were constantly denied due to Stallone’s insistence on doing the lead role. They finally agreed on a deal with Winkler-Chartoff productions for the script and the lead role for Stallone.
The movie became a huge success and created the Rocky franchise.
The original series spanned 30 years and five films. At the same time, the film did have some influences from real boxing fights. Most notable was the fight between Chuck Wepner and Muhammad Ali in 1975. Sylvester Stallone had gone to the LA theatre to watch what was supposed to be an Ali masterclass against a prominent New Jersey boxer.
For most of the fight, Ali hopped around the ring in his usual aura giving significantly fewer chances to Wepner to even touch him. That all changed in the ninth round. Wepner connected Ali’s rib with a huge right hand from hell, making Ali lose balance and hit the ground. Suddenly, the tide had turned.
People started cheering for him, and his image changed from a complete joke to an underdog who had a chance. While Ali recovered and defeated him, the story inspired Stallone to pen the script for Rocky. After the first film won an Oscar, Ali jokingly interrupted Stallone’s victory speech exclaiming – ” I am the real Apollo Creed.”
Other Movies In The Franchise
The sequel to the first Rocky film, Rocky 2, was released in 1979. The story revolved around Rocky trying to go back to his everyday life. But, Apollo Creed soon demands a rematch as he wants to defeat him convincingly. The film opened to generally positive reviews and had decent box office revenue.
The third Rocky movie started its production right after the second film’s success. It revolved around Rocky, now a world champion losing his belt to another boxer called Clubber Lang. He loses his respect and relevancy amongst the audience. Soon, he asks for help from his former rival Apollo Creed after the death of his trainer. The reviews for the film were not as good as the first two, with the screenplay being criticized and the movie generally deemed unnecessary. However, it did great at the box office, becoming the highest-grossing film in the franchise.
The fourth film was released in 1985. The story starts with Rocky training Apollo Creed for a fight against Soviet Union Boxer Ivan Drago. The fight ends shockingly with Apollo Creed dying in the ring. Rocky thus decides to lace up his gloves to avenge his friend’s death.
The critics didn’t appreciate the film as they felt that the movie was a Cold War Propoganda piece against the Russians. They again deemed this film an unnecessary addition to the franchise.
The fifth film was released in 1990. The story revolves around a bankrupt and retired Rocky post the Drago fight. He takes on a protege who betrays him, resulting in a brutal street fight. The film was the lowest-grossing film in the franchise and got a hostile reception from the critics.
The sixth film and the final of the original franchise were released in 2006, 16 years after the previous one.
The story shows a retired Rocky Balboa winning a computer-simulated fight against world champion Mason Dixon. Angry, he demands a real fight causing Rocky to return to the ring one last time. The critics praised this season both for its screenplay and performances. Its box office outcome was decent.
Creed 2 was released in 2018. It is the second film of the spinoff series. It deals with the main character Adonis Creed fighting Viktor Drago, the son of Ivan Drago. He was responsible for the death of his father in the ring, Apollo Creed. Rocky Balboa is training him. The film received positive reviews, with the critics praising the performances, and the film was also successful at the box office.
Creed is available to watch on Netflix in some countries.