‘Creed II’ stars Michael B. Jordan and Florian Munteanu talk about the pivotal theme of family in the franchise's second installment
At the third annual ComplexCon festival, the stars of ‘Creed II’ had an intimate panel to discuss the sequel to ‘Creed’ and the themes that have evolved in the franchise.
This past weekend MEAWW attended ComplexCon, a curated convention and festival focusing on art, media, fashion, entertainment and the influence that these factors have on our culture today. One of the highlights of the event was the 'Creed II' panel with stars Michael B. Jordan and Florian Munteanu who spoke on how the franchise has evolved and what to expect in the highly anticipated sequel.
'Creed II' continues the 'Rocky' legacy with a follow-up narrative of sorts. In 'Rocky IV', Apollo Creed met his fate during a tragic match against Russian boxer Ivan Drago. Now in the second installment of 'Creed', Apollo’s son Adonis Creed (played by Michael B. Jordan) accepts a challenge from Drago's son Viktor Drago (played by Florian Munteanu). Both men want to prove themselves and make their father (or their father’s legacy) proud. While Drago is assuredly the villain of the newest film, at its core, both men are fighting for what is most important to them — their family.
With any well-written film, the villain always has another side to them that humanizes them and defends their choices, even if misdirected. Munteanu expanded on this, speaking on the emotional side of his character and the motivations that drove him to make the choices that he did.
"When I first knew that I got the job, our director Steven Caple Jr. talked me through what he expected from me. He made it clear that he didn’t want me to simply be a beast, he also wanted there to be an emotional side to him. There is a lot of drama and emotions going on for my character. In the movie, my father feels a lot of pain because he got hunted out of his country and everybody left him and he wants to redeem himself so the solution for getting everything back is his son."
He continued: "But it’s a new generation and my character just wants to make his father proud. I really could connect to that role because family is very important to me. Family is everything. The movie is about family and boxing is secondary."
Jordan expanded on the same theme of family. However, what drove his character in the film was the family he is creating. Both men want to fight for their families, just in different ways and for different reasons.
"This new movie allows Adonis to have his own world, his own drive, his own family. We did a really good job in the first movie establishing what young love was like and what it’s like for young millennials to be in love, but to also be professionals and have success in their own rights. Where’s the give and take? How do you compromise in your own relationship?"
He added: "Those are the things we wanted to build upon and as a young black man not having his dad in his life, trying to figure out what it’s like to be a man, what it means to be a father and having his own family? And then you also have the legacy and nostalgia of 'Rocky IV' with Apollo Creed and having their history and their drama carry on through their kids."
This project is very close to Jordan’s heart, as he also served as a producer on the film. Both on and off screen he was a leader, progressing in his career in ways he wasn’t necessarily ready to before. "When I stepped onto 'Creed II', I was owning who I was and the place that I am at in my career and my life. That was the first time that I had that self-confidence to really own it. And not in a vain way, but in a responsible leader way. You gotta empower people around you and you gotta lead by example every day, even when you’re tired. I don’t care if you got knocked out the night before, you have to show up, there is no other option. So that kind of forced me into a leadership role that I felt very comfortable in, so I learned a lot about myself."
'Creed II' is going to be an epic continuation of one of Hollywood’s most beloved franchises that you will not want to miss and will be released nationwide on November 21.