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Michael B. Jordan and Tessa Thompson Are Back in Gripping First Creed II Trailer

In our Era of Perpetual Reboots, there is one revived franchise that already proved itself worthy: extending the Rocky universe to feature Apollo Creed’s son in the form of Michael B. Jordan.

Back in 2015, Jordan and his frequent collaborator, Black Panther director Ryan Coogler, made their joint magic happen with Creed. Co-written by Coogler and earning Sylvester Stallone’s aging Rocky Balboa an Oscar nomination for Best Supporting Actor, the movie was a critical and box office hit. It’s no surprise that we’re here watching the promising trailer for Creed II. 

This time around the movie is directed by Stephen Caple Jr. (The Land), produced by Coogler, written by Stallone, and sees the return of the always-charismatic Jordan as Adonis Creed, my girlfriend and yours Tessa Thompson as his lady Bianca, forever Rocky Sylvester Stallone, and the great Phylicia Rashad as Creed’s mother Mary Anne.

Creed can be seen in intense training (including a stunning underwater boxing scene) for a fight against the son of Ivan Drago, Viktor Drago. The brutal Ivan Drago was the competition in Rocky IV, delivering the fatal punch that killed Creed’s father (Rocky’s old opponent and later good friend), Apollo. So there is a lot of pathos around this match. To say the least.

“Your dad killed my dad” is a hugely dramatic scenario to set up this movie, and we also see Creed struggling with problems that plagued his mentor Rocky, like how to balance his ambition and the danger of boxing with his growing family life.

Here’s the official synopsis:

Life has become a balancing act for Adonis Creed. Between personal obligations and training for his next big fight, he is up against the challenge of his life. Facing an opponent with ties to his family’s past only intensifies his impending battle in the ring. Rocky Balboa is there by his side through it all and, together, Rocky and Adonis will confront their shared legacy, question what’s worth fighting for, and discover that nothing’s more important than family. Creed II is about going back to basics to rediscover what made you a champion in the first place, and remembering that, no matter where you go, you can’t escape your history.

I would see this movie for Jordan and Thompson alone, but I’m also a fan of the Rocky franchise and what they did with Creed. What do you think?

(image: VALERIE MACON/AFP/Getty Images)

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Kaila Hale-Stern (she/her) is a content director, editor, and writer who has been working in digital media for more than fifteen years. She started at TMS in 2016. She loves to write about TV—especially science fiction, fantasy, and mystery shows—and movies, with an emphasis on Marvel. Talk to her about fandom, queer representation, and Captain Kirk. Kaila has written for io9, Gizmodo, New York Magazine, The Awl, Wired, Cosmopolitan, and once published a Harlequin novel you'll never find.