The eventual release of Creed 4 remains a question, but just how long will Michael B. Jordan's boxing blockbuster remain on the sidelines?
Following in the footsteps of the uber-popular Rocky series of films, the Creed movies have served as a modern passing of the torch from Sylvester Stallone to Jordan for a new generation of prize-fighting pictures.
Since 2015, the first three Creed films have told the story of a once-up-an-comer Adonis Creed, who - walking in the footsteps of his father - goes from a no-name on the streets of North Philidelphia to the biggest name in boxing.
When Will Creed 4 Release?
Creed 4 has been confirmed to be happening, but aside from that, there has been little information released about the film.
Announced to be in development in November 2023 (a mere eight months after the release of Creed III), Creed 4 will seemingly see the Rocky/Creed franchise return to the big screen for a 10th movie (per Variety).
According to franchise producer Irwin Winkler (via Deadline), the fourth Creed will also see Jordan not just back to star, but also to direct.
Creed III marked Jordan's directorial debut, and Creed 4 looks to be following suit.
This came mere months after Michael B. Jordan said in an interview with IGN that a fourth Creed film was "for sure" going to happen, but had not yet been officially announced:
"I just want to expand the 'Creed'-verse within reason, but definitely expect other things around 'Creed' for sure."
He added, telling Screen Rant in March 2023, "You will see the Creed-verse continue to grow" beyond Creed III:
"But you will see the 'Creed'-verse continue to grow and expand. I think that we invested in some really interesting characters that I think a lot of people were responding to. I have to give a political answer to that. [laughs] There's going to be more of the Creed family, and there's gonna be more of some of the characters that you love from this movie. I just don't know what package it's going to be in yet".
As a part of the announcement, Winkler offered up the first hint at when fans may see the film, revealing, "About a year from now we’re going into pre-production."
Creed III went into pre-production sometime in October 2020, just over two-and-a-half years before the film's eventual release.
If Creed 4 follows a similar sort of production timeline to Creed III and starts on pre-pro in fall 2024, that would mean the movie will likely be released sometime in early spring 2027 (in a similar release window as Creed III).
Will Sylvester Stallone Be in Creed 4?
Despite appearing in all eight prior installments in the Creed and Rocky franchise, series stalwart Sylvester Stallone notably was not a part of Creed III.
According to Stallone, the story "was taken in a direction that is quite different than I would’ve taken it," and because of this he decided he did not want to be a part of the movie (via The Hollywood Reporter):
“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.”
While this is the public answer the actor was giving, it does go a bit deeper.
For years the Rocky star has been embroiled in a rights battle over the boxing franchise he brought to the screen back in 1976.
While making the original movie, Stallone sold the rights to the franchise to producer Irwin Winkler. This has meant that - despite the franchise being one of the biggest money-makers in movie history, Stallone does not own the rights to the characters he helped create (having written the first six Rocky films and Creed II).
That does not mean he will never be back as the iconic big-screen boxer though.
In November 2022, Stallone revealed to Cheatsheet, he would return to the franchise, "as long as the other fella’s not involved," alluding to Winkler:
"Michael B. Jordan, nice guy, the studio’s wonderful. But it’s just the…it’s been such a real, rough emotional ride. That’s all. It really has. Now, if Michael B. Jordan, we come up with a story, I’ll do 'Creed 4' with him as long as the other fella’s not involved"
Who Will Return in the Creed 4 Cast?
Nothing official has come out on the casting front for Creed 4, but there are a few names one can expect to come back for the blow-by-blow blockbuster.
Of course, Michael B. Jordan's Adonis Creed will hop back in the ring in some capacity for the fourth film, protecting not just the legacy of his father (like he has in the past), but now his growing family, having married Tessa Thompson's Bianca and had a daughter named Amara (played by Mila Davis-Kent).
Speaking of his family, if Adonis is back, then one can expect both Davis-Kent and Thompson to reprise their Creed III roles for the upcoming fourth film.
Other names that could come back include trainer and series mainstay Tony “Little Duke” Evers (Wood Harris), and potentially Creed II antagonist Viktor Drago (Florian Munteanu) who also popped up in a cameo in Creed III.
One Creed character who will almost definitely not return is Jonathan Majors' Damian Anderson. While the franchise seemed to be setting the Creed III villain up for a future in the Creed-verse, the actor was recently found guilty of assault following a public legal battle between him and a former girlfriend.
Here is a full list of expected actors to return for Creed 4:
- Michael B. Jordan as Adonis Creed
- Tessa Thompson as Bianca Creed
- Mila Davis-Kent as Amara Creed
- Wood Harris as Tony “Little Duke” Evers
- Florian Munteanu as Viktor Drago
What Will Creed 4 Be About?
Following the events of Creed III, there are a myriad of directions the franchise could go with the fourth movie.
Producer Irwin Winkler posited during the film's official announcement, "[they] have a really good story, a really good plot," but did not offer much in terms of where that story could go.
While Creed III ended with Michael B. Jordan's Adonis Creed looking to have retired from the sport of boxing, the easiest route a fourth movie could go would see the retired fighter have to get back in the ring to take on yet another menacing threat.
This would be a safe choice, but one that could still work. Adonis coming back from retirement would not be all that surprising in a franchise where Sylvester Stallone's Rocky did the same thing multiple times throughout the year.
However, Michael B. Jordan and the Creed creative brain trust may opt to shake things up a bit.
As teased by Jordan, they are looking to "expand the Creed-verse" following Creed III. This could allude to a new champion being trained and getting the spotlight in Creed 4.
In Creed III's final moments, Adonis welcomes his daughter Amara (played by Mila Davis-Kent) into the ring for some quick training.
While she may have been a little young to get into her father's sport in the last film, what better way to carry on the Creed family legacy than focusing on Amara for Creed 4?
This would likely see Jordan's Adonis taking on the Rocky Balboa mentor role, seeing his deaf daughter rise in the boxing ranks similarly to how fans did with his enterprising fighter back in 2015's Creed.
Creed III is now streaming on Amazon Prime Video.