It’s Michael B. Jordan vs. Jonathan Majors. The trailer for Creed III offers a glimpse at the next bout in the boxing franchise as Jordan’s Donnie Creed (son of Rocky rival, Apollo Creed) steps into the ring with Majors’ character Damian, a childhood friend who just got out of prison.
“I spent the last seven years of my life living my wildest dreams. Bianca, Rocky, my dad,” Donnie says in a voiceover as his successful career flashes onscreen, including a fight with real-life boxer Canelo Álvarez. “This is built on their shoulders.”
The trailer then shows Donnie leaving a store and encountering his childhood friend, Damian, standing by his Rolls Royce. “We was like brothers,” Damian explains to Jordan’s love interest Bianca, played by Tessa Thompson.
Donnie then takes Damian under his wing as the two train together in a boxing studio, though Donnie clearly carries some guilt over how Damian ended up in prison. Things really take a turn when Damian starts to make clear that he isn’t letting anyone — even Donnie, who gave him the opportunity — stand in his way to finally prove he’s the best boxer. “Imagine spending half your life in a cell watching somebody else live your life,” he tells Donnie. “I’m coming for everything.”
Cu the requisite training montage as the two frenemies prepare to finally face each other in the ring. “I need you to get let go of that fear. Let go of that guilt,” Donnie’s manager tells him. “Let go of whatever was and walk into what is.”
Along with starring in the movie, Jordan directed Creed III, while the story was written by Ryan Coogler and Keenan Coogler, and Zach Baylin. (Sylvester Stallone, who created and starred in Rocky, will not be reprising his role in the new flick. He was involved in the first two Creed movies, even garnering a an Oscar nod for Best Supporting Actor for the first.)
“[Jordan has] grown into one of the single most charismatic screen performers working today, full stop, and in our current age of movie-star deficiency, spending two hours watching him be tender, tough, vulnerable, vengeful, downbeat and uplifting is time well spent,” read a Rolling Stone review of Creed II. “Make no mistake, however: This is not a reinvention of the wheel, just a rotation of the tires.”