The Rocky movies and their spin-off franchise, Creed, have a theme of overcoming athletic adversity. They’re about athletes, in this case, boxers, achieving the seemingly impossible while simultaneously working themselves into the best possible competitive shape. Next year, there’ll be another tale with two Hollywood actors living up to that mandate again inside the ring.
On Oct. 17, 2022, actor Michael B. Jordan shared two teaser posters for the upcoming boxing epic Creed III on his Instagram profile. The teasers feature Jordan — who plays fictional superstar boxer Adonis Creed — and his co-star, Jonathan Majors — playing a new opposing character, Damian “Dame” Anderson — sitting in the corner of a boxing ring. Both actors show off massive shoulders and arms and shredded upper-body masses. The reveals coincide with the announcement of the film’s official release date on Mar. 3, 2023.
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According to Variety, Creed III will be Jordan’s directorial debut. The 35-year-old actor is reprising one of the more famous roles of his career, where many sequences in the previous iterations feature him rigorously training his cardio, upper body, and general high-level conditioning. (Note: Per IMDB, Jordan can count on other acclaimed lead credits in films like 2013’s Fruitvale Station and 2018’s Black Panther.)
Meanwhile, Majors joins the Creed franchise as a rising star in cinema. The 33-year-old actor might have first risen to prominence with a part in 2019’s The Last Black Man in San Francisco. He has since been notably featured in Spike Lee’s Da 5 Bloods from 2020 and 2021 spaghetti western The Harder They Fall. Majors will be the next lead antagonist, Kang the Conqueror, in the Marvel Cinematic Universe.
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In a recent Men’s Health profile, Majors makes it clear that he prioritizes his fitness regardless of his upcoming role in a film.
“If I’m going to bench press 250 [pounds] in a film, I need to be able to bench press 275 [pounds] a few times,” Majors tells Men’s Health initially before walking back his initial sentiment: “305 [pounds] a few times.”
Majors appears to have applied the same thought process in preparation for Creed III. He reportedly didn’t appreciate being handed “fake weights” while filming a scene.
“I will do this all day — We are not putting fake weights on,” said Majors, explaining his rationale to Men’s Health. “I haven’t been training for the past three months to get here and use Styrofoam. “Put these [expletive] weights on so we can lift it, so you can shoot it, so I can tell the story. Respectfully, anything less is like putting fake tears in your eyes. Or putting fake sweat on you.”
It’ll be a little while before anyone sees Jordan and Majors presumptively square off in Creed III. However, for two actors seemingly committed to prioritizing their fitness as professionals, it should be quite the battle between the ropes come March 2023.
Featured image: @michaelbjordan on Instagram