Last summer news broke of a Rocky quasi-reboot focusing on the grandson of Rocky Balboa's rival-turned-friend Apollo Creed, and now the film's prospective star Michael B Jordan has opened up about the project.
Speaking to The Daily Beast, Jordan talked about preparing for the part and the involvement of Sylvester Stallone, who will reprise his iconic role.
"Ryan Coogler first pitched me the idea when we were just finishing Fruitvale Station. He pitched it to me and I was like, man that sounds awesome. That's actually a great take on a spin-off, and to get to start my own franchise," says Jordan.
"I was excited, as a Rocky fan. Being able to give the Creed name life. He's one of the most iconic characters there is. Apollo Creed, Rocky - you have to take that seriously. I'm working out a lot. I'm boxing, training. I'm putting on the weight. I'm working with Sylvester Stallone. We're putting the time in now to get it right."
On the involvement of Stallone, Jordan called it a "mind-blowing" experience.
"Sly is helping develop it. So we're all working together, and it is kind of mind-blowing," he says. "We're sitting down and talking about character stuff and ad-libbing here and there. It felt natural. It felt real. When you work so hard for something for a really long time and things start to pay off, it's a surreal feeling to know that this is where you're at now. It's crazy to know that your hard work paid off."
Jordan says he has yet to run up the famous museum steps in Philadelphia, which would surely be a job requirement, but there's still time. He also talked about watching the film for the first time. "I watched later in life, because I obviously wasn't born when it came out," he said to the annoyance of many an older film-goer, "but as I got older and started getting more into films and movies, I don't remember what age it was, but I remember watching it and being inspired.
"It's rooting for the underdog. I've always felt like the underdog, so it was a big deal for me."
The reboot, called Creed, will be directed by Ryan Coogler, who worked with Jordan on last year's Fruitvale Station, which reviewed extremely well and lined Jordan up for an awards season run which never came to fruition.