Fruitvale Station (trailer here), from director Ryan Coogler, stars Michael B. Jordan in a critically-acclaimed drama about a day in the life of Oscar Grant, who was killed by BART cops in 2008. And how better to follow that up than a Rocky spinoff about Apollo Creed’s grandson? Wait, what?
MGM is setting Ryan Coogler to direct Creed, and the studio is in early talks with Coogler’s Fruitvale Station star Michael B. Jordan to play the grandson of Apollo Creed in a continuation of the Rocky saga that Coogler is going to write with Aaron Covington. Sylvester Stallone will reprise Rocky Balboa as a retired fighter-turned-trainer.
Oh well. That’s just the standard success track for a director, right? Make your name on a critically acclaimed art film, then cash in making some paycheck sequel for a studio, right? Well, not exactly, according to Deadline:
Much the same way that Coogler burned with the desire to tell the tragic story of Oscar Grant in his feature debut and begged Jordan to play the role in the $900,000 budget film, this whole idea also came from Coogler. When he signed with WME, Coogler identified Creed as a dream project.
Huh. Weird. Maybe he just really likes beef stew. I would’ve gone with an alternate timeline sequel to The Wire that reimagines where Wallace at.
The intention is for Jordan to play the grandson of Apollo Creed (played in the early movies by Carl Weathers). Raised in an upper-crust home thanks to the ring riches earned by his grandfather, the young man doesn’t have to box and his family doesn’t want him to. Yet, he has the natural instinct and gifts and potential that made his grandfather the heavyweight champion until Rocky Balboa took his crown in 1979′s Rocky II. Creed’s grandson needs a mentor and turns to Balboa, who is out of boxing completely and not eager to return. [Deadline]
I admit, it doesn’t seem like the worst idea ever, especially if the director has some talent. But if you’re going to do a spin-off, why go with Rocky, which has already had a million sequels and milked every character dry? I want to see the spinoffs about awesome characters from movies that maybe weren’t so great. Like Rob Lowe in Behind the Candelabra, or Craig Robinson in Miss March. Seriously, I would kill for a Horsedick.Mpeg movie.