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The Creed 3 trailer is almost too shredded for words

The champ is on the comeback... but maybe we’re rooting for the villain too?

Joshua Rivera (he/him) is an entertainment and culture journalist specializing in film, TV, and video game criticism, the latest stop in a decade-plus career as a critic.

The first Creed movie was the kind of film that made you want to run a lap around the entire goddamn globe. It was a rare franchise revival that told its own story — and an incredibly resonant, jubilant one at that. It followed young Adonis Creed, the son of deceased Rocky Balboa foe Apollo Creed as he went from maladjusted youth to Rocky pupil to heavyweight champ that stood on his own two feet. The second film is better not talked about. But the third? Our first look at the latest sequel looks like a hell of a comeback.

In Creed 3, Michael B. Jordan is stepping back into the ring, and also the director’s chair, for what looks like a more personal story than the last film, which focused on pitting Donnie Creed (Michael B. Jordan) against the son of Rocky Balboa’s (Sylvester Stallone) rival Ivan Drago (Dolph Lundgren), the Soviet super-boxer who notoriously killed Creed’s father Apollo in the ring.

Creed 3 focuses more squarely on Adonis, with Rocky nowhere to be seen. Jonathan Majors plays Anderson Dame, a childhood friend of Creed’s who shared his rough upbringing but without the golden parachute of boxing royalty there to rescue him. The trailer sets the two of them on a collision course, as Adonis’ attempts to welcome Anderson into his life are met with hostility, and the only place left to sort things out is the ring.

The trailer is both a great sell for the film and also a hell of a promo for the big Creed-Dame fight. Jordan and Majors are shredded beyond belief — and both command a charisma that’s at least as big as their traps. (This makes them....thirst traps. Get it?) It’s also, ironically, a premise that mirrors Jordan’s other big role, only this time Majors is the Killmonger to Jordan’s Black Panther, a ghost from the past ready to take what’s his. I can’t wait to see them fight it out.

Creed 3 will premiere on March 3, 2023.

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