Film producer Irwin Winkler confirmed there will in fact be a Creed IV and Michael B. Jordan will not only be back in the lead role of Adonis Creed, he will also return to the director’s chair.
‘We are planning to do Creed IV right now,’ Winkler revealed at Deadline’s Contenders Film: Los Angeles event on Saturday. ‘We have a really good story [and] a really good plot. We got a little delayed because of the strikes, but about a year from now we’re going into pre-production.’
When confirming Jordan will in fact be back directing after helming Creed III (2023), Winkler, 92, offered him some high praise: ‘He did such a great job — he was comfortable with the camera.’
The announcement by the famed film producer comes in the wake of tensions that now exist between himself and Rocky creator/star Sylvester Stallone.
The longtime Hollywood leading man has been critical of Winkler, calling on him to give him an ownership stake in the Rocky and Creed franchises.
He’s back! It was confirmed Saturday that there will be a Creed IV and that Michael B. Jordan will not only be back in the lead role of Adonis Creed, but he will also helm the film; seen in February
Tensions: The announcement by the famed film producer comes in the wake of tensions that now exist between himself and Rocky creator/star Sylvester Stallone
Stallone, 77, has been hitting like a heavyweight champion in his critique of Winkler and the ownership situation.
‘I really would like [to] have at least a little WHAT’s LEFT of my RIGHTS back, before passing it on to ONLY YOUR CHILDREN – I believe That would be a FAIR gesture,’ Stallone wrote in an Instagram post in July 2022, as reported by The Hollywood Reporter.
Calling this a ‘painful subject,’ Stallone went on to confess that the situation ‘eats at my soul, because I wanted to leave something of Rocky for my children.’
Stallone famously came up with the Rocky Balboa character in 1975 after watching a Muhammad Ali vs. Chuck Wepner fight, and wrote the first draft of the script for the original Rocky film in just three days.
The then relatively unknown actor played a bit of hardball with United Artists when he rejected a six figure deal for the film rights and refused to allow the film to be made without him in the lead role.
Ultimately, United Artists agreed to cast Stallone as Rocky Balboa, but as he said in 2019 during an interview with Variety, he had ‘zero ownership of Rocky.’
‘It was shocking that it never came to be, but I was told, “Hey, you got paid, so what are you complaining about?’ I was furious,’ he said at the time.
Stallone starred in all six of the Rocky installments, and then reprised his role as an aging former boxer in Creed (2015), which earned him an Academy Award nomination for Best Supporting Actor.
Hitting hard: ‘I really would like [to] have at least a little WHAT’s LEFT of my RIGHTS back, before passing it on to ONLY YOUR CHILDREN – I believe That would be a FAIR gesture,’ Stallone wrote in an Instagram post in July 2022; the actor is picture in iconic scene from Rocky (1976)
Stallone and Winkler are seen in 2000
Directed by Ryan Coogler from a script he co-wrote with Aaron Covington, the first Rocky spin-off was a hit with fans, grossing $173.6 million at the worldwide box office against a budget of between $35-40 million.
Along with Jordan in the title role as Adonis Creed and Stallone, the cast also includes Tessa Thompson, Phylicia Rashad and Anthony Bellew.
Not long later, Stallone would team up with Juel Taylor on the screenplay for Creed II (2018) that ultimately was directed by Steven Caple Jr.
The sequel for the spin-off was a bigger hit than its predecessor in the moneymaking department, raking in $214.1 million at the box office against a budget of $50 million.
Not only did Jordan return as the leading man for Creed III (2023), he also made his directorial debut with the movie.
Rocky spin-off: After being nominated for Oscar nomination for Best Supporting Actor with Creed (2015), Stallone co-wrote Creed II (2018) with Juel Taylor
Bonafide hit: With Jordan as the star and director, Creed III (2023) ended up topping the first two films at the box officer, grossing $275.3 million behind a $75 million budget
This latest installment in the franchise, which is now nine films between Rocky and Creed, is the first in the series not to feature Sylvester Stallone in his iconic role of Rocky Balboa, although he was credited as one of the producers.
Despite losing the star power of Stallone’s name on the marquee, it went on top the previous two installments, grossing $275.3 million behind a $75 million budget.
Again, the pre-production for Creed IV is expected to kick-off in 2024.
So far there’s been no official word on whether Stallone will reprise his role as Rocky Balboa one more time.