When Creed III premieres later this year, it’ll become the ninth film in the overarching Rocky franchise. As a result, director and star Michael B. Jordan drew from outside of the Rocky world to make things feel different. Namely, he looked to the world of anime for help.
Speaking to Collider, Jordan — who is making his directorial debut with the film — revealed that since so many Rocky films had been done previously, he had to be more creative when it came to presenting how the boxing matches were filmed. With that in mind, he looked to his love of anime for assistance.
“It was a gift and a curse,” said Jordan on the filming. “There’s been eight other movies before me, and we’ve shot — you can shoot a boxing match so many different ways. I think ‘cause I was kinda put in a corner, it forced me to be more creative and really think outside the box of how to make the fights different … and I had a huge Japanese anime influence on a lot of my fighters.”
Just what type of impact Jordan’s anime influence had on the film will have to wait to be seen, with the film not set to premiere until March 3, 2023.
Joining Creed III are returning alums Tessa Thompson as Bianca Taylor, Phylicia Rashad as Mary Anne Creed, Wood Harris as Tony Evers, and Florian Munteanu as Viktor Drago, with franchise newcomer Jonathan Majors as Damian Anderson. This marks the first Rocky film without Sylvester Stallone’s Rocky Balboa.
The film is being produced by Charles Winkler, William Chartoff, and David Winkler via Chartoff-Winkler Productions in association with Proximity Media, alongside Jonathan Glickman, Jordan, and Ryan Coogler, while Adam Rosenberg, Sev Ohanian, and Zinzi Coogler are all set as executive producers.