After dominating the boxing world, Adonis Creed has been thriving in both his career and family life. When a childhood friend and former boxing prodigy, Damian (Jonathan Majors), resurfaces after serving a long sentence in prison, he is eager to prove that he deserves his shot in the ring. The face-off between former friends is more than just a fight. To settle the score, Adonis must put his future on the line to battle Damian—a fighter who has nothing to lose.
I wanted the characters in my film to face their disagreements while making a statement about humanity and its nuances, with empathy. How we handle and communicate our emotions is a part of our exploration of our inner self. In “Creed III,” the film shows the different roads, relationships and interactions of two men that made different choices, lived different lives and found themselves in the same ring.
I wanted my film to reflect lessons I have learned in life. Lessons about being kind to one another, but mostly kind to ourselves. Most of us have not been taught how to do that. I wanted my film to also tackle the issues of toxic masculinity and what happens when you don’t face your past, when you don’t talk about and work through your trauma and pain.
Forgiveness is the most integral part of any conflict because it is the only way to overcome what you’re up against and confronting yourself in a real way is how you move forward with healing. At the heart of “Creed III” is forgiveness. Forgiveness of self and others. No matter who you are, or what your circumstances are, you can overcome your past, you can overcome any obstacle.
This film is not about one man fighting another for a world title. It is about challenging yourself and proving to yourself that your existence is legitimate, that you deserve your blessings. Moving with grace for yourself and for others. Believing that you are who you say you are, and all that you’ve done actually matters.
MICHAEL B. JORDAN
You Can’t Run From Your Past
It’s been years since Adonis Creed shocked the world by coming from nowhere to win the heavyweight title his late father, Apollo Creed, and mentor, Rocky Balboa, once held. Having defeated such opponents as Viktor Drago and Danny “Stuntman” Wheeler, Adonis, aka Donnie, has retired as World Heavyweight Champion to run the Delphi Academy with his former cornerman Tony “Little Duke” Burton, with current champ Felix Chavez in residence as Delphi’s star boxer.
Adonis is brought to life for the third time by star Michael B. Jordan, who stepped behind the camera to direct and produce as well. He states, “I had a clear vision of what I wanted the story to be, where I wanted the Creed family to go. The challenge of directing helped motivate me—I wanted to see if I had what it takes to act in and direct something that had been kicking around in my head for a long time. ‘Creed III’ is very personal to me and, thankfully, all those things added up to the perfect situation for this movie.”
“Creed III” finds Donnie and his wife, Bianca—portrayed again by Tessa Thompson—at the dawn of a new era, with Bianca’s successful music career moving into producing and their young daughter, Amara, eager to learn boxing from her father. Life has become more beautiful than Adonis ever imagined it could be, despite the health difficulties facing his beloved mother, Mary-Anne, the great Phylicia Rashad returning to the role.
Says Thompson, “Michael knows the character of Adonis Creed so well, and he knows the world of these films. For a third installment, you’re always trying to figure out, ‘What can we do that’s new inside of this story?’ Having Mike be at the helm added so much energy and a fresh perspective.”
Just as their future is looking bright, Adonis’s past delivers a power punch that he never saw coming. As a teen, Adonis was schooled in boxing by Damian “Dame” Anderson, an older kid from the juvenile center where Adonis lived. When a violent street incident put the pair in danger, Dame wound up serving 18 years in prison. Upon release, he comes to Adonis looking for a life-changing chance at fighting Chavez for the title. As circumstances line up for the unlikely match to happen, the intense result stuns the sports world and Adonis, who must confront the bitter and jealous man who was once his friend.
Writers Keenan Coogler and Zach Baylin penned the script from a story they crafted with producer Ryan Coogler. Keenan relates, “My approach to the script was to honor the legacy built by the previous eight films, while also exploring themes we felt would resonate with audiences that may be newer to the saga. Michael was very passionate about finding new ways to challenge Adonis, so Zach and I constructed an antagonist who could exploit the aspects of Adonis that make him so unique as a hero.”
Baylin offers, “I loved the first two movies and was incredibly excited to help continue the story. And I felt a big responsibility to match the drama and excitement of the entire franchise. From the beginning, our approach to the third film was to try and tell a really personal story. We didn't want to just mine the ‘Rocky’ history. We wanted to explore where Adonis and his family were emotionally at this moment in their lives, which is a time of tremendous change for all of them. We wanted to tell a story about responsibility and guilt and survivor's remorse. And we wanted to create a character in Dame that would challenge everything Adonis has built and believed he's earned and who could be a real earthquake in their lives.”
To that end, Coogler adds, “Adonis began his journey to prove his own worth in the ring and in life, but he soon finds himself emotionally unprepared for the new responsibilities that come with it—a flaw that I feel endears him to everyone.”
“We also wanted to try and take a big swing with the genre of the film,” Baylin furthers. “Of course, it's a visceral, exciting, inspiring boxing movie like all of the ‘Creed’ and ‘Rocky’ films are, but it's also a thriller and a mystery and I think audiences are going to be surprised how tense and suspenseful and complicated this chapter is.”
“This is an origin story, a sequel, and a trilogy all in one,” concurs Jordan. “We’ve seen Adonis at a young age in the earlier films, but we never had the chance to really see how he was in and out of juvie, the way he lived before he met Mary-Anne, what really shaped him to be the Adonis Creed that we know, before he was adopted and brought into a life of wealth, opportunity and legacy. I felt it would result in a kind of identity crisis for him.”
Bad blood boils over into bitter feud, and Adonis is reminded of his father’s death in the ring, of the pure-hearted underdog success of Rocky, of the way his daughter sees him, and of how he views his victories and missteps. Everything comes to a head when “Diamond” Dame comes for what he wanted all along, leading destiny and brotherhood to go toe-to-toe in a bout billed as the “Battle for Los Angeles,” and the culmination of everything Adonis has faced in the ring until now.
Jonathan Majors, who stars as Damian, observes, “As an actor approaching it, I looked at both characters’ journeys and where they were going. Michael was so honest and exciting as a filmmaker about what he wanted to do with the story, that he wanted to do something different from the canonical themes established already. But at the same time, he wanted to honor the legacy of ‘Rocky’ and the previous ‘Creed’ films. Through conversations with Michael, I knew this would be a story about two men and their dreams colliding. In some ways, ‘Creed III’ feels more intimate than others in this franchise, while the saga of it is truly epic.”
To enhance the emotions as well as the action for the audience, Jordan and director of photography Kramer Morgenthau, who also lensed “Creed II,” opted to film with IMAX-certified digital cameras and utilize IMAX-exclusive expanded aspect ratio—with up to 26 percent more picture. Thus, the third installment in the “Creed” franchise became the first sports-based film included in the Filmed for IMAX program.
Jordan and Morgenthau embraced IMAX technology—already known to transport audiences beyond the edge of their seats thanks to their massive screens, precision audio and unique auditorium design—and pushed the boundaries of filmmaking to provide moviegoers with a differentiated experience that will allow them to become completely immersed in the story, taking in every bead of sweat and feeling the impact of every punch.
Morgenthau says, “It was really exciting to be able to integrate the IMAX cameras into the filmmaking process, especially the way we used them to open the world up and to make it very immersive and visceral for the flight sequences. And that's how we chose to use it; there was just something very magical, especially the scene at Dodger Stadium, where MBJ is walking out onto the field and the image aspect ratio expands in shot and the black bars recede, and you get this really tall, beautiful, powerful image. It just elevates everything, there is just something hyperreal about it. And to be the first sports movie doing that, it was a creative high.”
Kramer adds that, while the sport is king, there is much more going on in the ring: “Shooting the fights is almost like shooting a piece of dance or choreography—everything is planned and mapped out with the stunt team in advance. We prep by shooting each fight with small digital cameras, and shooting sketches of what it should be, figuring out the most impactful places to place a camera and trying to show what it's like to be in the ring from a boxer's perspective. We used some techniques that Michael brought in from anime and that whole experience that almost made it a poetic interpretation of what it’s like to be inside of a fight with the whole world watching—these two gladiators in the ring—and tell a story of everybody around the ring: the family, the trainers, the fans, the opponents, and their ringside stories. And then really, the fighters are having a dialogue, but they're really speaking with punches and not with words. So, it’s kind of pure visual storytelling and it’s really exciting to do. It’s the ultimate cinematography challenge.”
The end result is an interior journey just as much as a kinetic one, with Adonis and Dame’s inner face-off reflected in the dramatic fight choreography captured by the cameras. “It was a huge honor to have Michael bring me in as his creative partner on his first time directing,” Morgenthau states. “He's a natural storyteller, and he has a very deep understanding of his character and the script and the story, because this is his third ‘Creed’ film. In many ways, it was a natural progression for him to be directing.”
Jordan also embraced the spare, expressionistic production design by Jahmin Assa, the costumes by returning “Creed II” costume designer Lizz Wolf, and the intense score by composer Joseph Shirley. The filmmaker nods to his team, noting, “I was fortunate to have a lot of great people around me who are spectacular at their jobs. We developed a shorthand that made it possible for me to direct from inside a scene, and that wouldn’t have been possible without true collaborators to help execute the vision, or without such an incredible cast. Everyone came to play; they were just world class and I’m forever grateful.”
Alongside Jordan, Thompson, Majors, Mila Davis-Kent, who plays daughter Amara Creed, and the rest of the main cast, “Creed III” continues the tradition the “Creed” franchise began, pitting Adonis against boxers played by real-world fighters and embracing authenticity by welcoming famous faces and voices from both sides of the ropes, including Welterweight Golden Gloves champ José Benavidez. as champ Felix Chavez, glimpses of Anthony Bellew returning as “Pretty” Ricky Conlan and Florian Munteanu as Viktor Drago, along with Canelo Álvarez, Patrice “Boogie” Harris, Ann “Mitt Queen” Najjar, Jacob “Stitch” Duran, Terence Crawford, Bobby Hernandez, Yahya McClain, Lamont Lankford, Corey Calliet, and a roster of refs and announcers boxing fans will easily recognize.
“I spent the last seven years of my life living out my wildest dreams…”
Audiences have seen Adonis Creed as a young man being mentored by Rocky Balboa while romancing an aspiring musician, perfecting his abilities in the ring and hitting personal heights. Long after Mary-Anne Creed took him in, kept him out of the gym and made sure no one would train him in the sport that ultimately brought about the death of his father, Apollo, boxing remained a burning passion for Adonis. “That’s partially because he had it in him,” explains Jordan. “Adonis had that fighting spirit; he fought to survive and always felt he had to fight for something.”
Now, years later, “Creed III” finds Adonis working outside of the ring and his family looking to the future…even as it reveals more of what life was like for Adonis in the distant past, growing up on the streets of L.A.
Jordan himself feels a kinship with the character. Though he has been acting since he was young, he became an acclaimed film actor with the award-winning drama “Fruitvale Station,” which introduced him to filmmaker Ryan Coogler. Before Jordan ascended to global superstar with his performance in Coogler’s “Black Panther,” it was the director’s 2015 “Creed” that introduced Jordan to the power of not just admiring, but being part of, a cinematic legacy.
“I grew up along with Adonis Creed,” says Jordan. “I created him with Ryan and got a chance to play him at pivotal times during my own personal life. So now, in the third film in the series, to be able to tell the story of where I am now, and where Adonis is on his journey, feels extremely personal.
“I was excited to see Adonis through to wherever he needed to go next,” Jordan adds. “How does he stay hungry? How does he find motivation now? The answer was, through a reminder about who he was before fame, and before he got everything that he dreamed of. As an actor and a director, that’s what I was most interested in exploring.”
Tessa Thompson’s Bianca is again the perfect partner for Adonis, providing strength, wisdom, encouragement and balance as both wife and mother to their young daughter, while at the same time thriving in her own growing career.
“Tessa has been here with me from day one, every step of the way,” says Jordan. “We’ve had so many conversations about where we are in our lives, and where our characters are and where they would be at certain points in the story. She brings a sense of care and comfort to the film, and to me personally.
“That Bianca was seen and heard and fully present in her own agency was really important for us to hold true to,” adds Jordan. “Bianca is a talented musician and artist, and how she’s been dealing with her own hearing loss and able to reinvent herself as time moves on, and not just losing herself in supporting Adonis Creed’s journey, was crucial to focus on throughout this franchise.”
Says Thompson, “I think the thing that interests me so much about Bianca is her heart. These films obviously are a lot about family, and I think the ways in which she prioritizes family, what family means to her, is important. Throughout the ‘Creed’ films, she’s trying to understand who she is in the world, who she wants to be, and her art and her dreams. Those are things that I certainly relate to, and I think so many viewers do as well.”
Thompson says that the evolution for Bianca this time around is that “like Adonis, who’s not in the ring when we meet him in ‘Creed III,’ Bianca’s not on stage in the way that we’ve seen her in the past. They’re both really having to understand their new identities and not being tethered to the ‘thing’ that they do. They are both struggling with it in certain ways, but it also provides an opportunity for them to grow and learn about themselves and each other.”
The changes in Bianca’s career were inspired, Thompson provides, “By a very funny conversation Mike and I had, wondering things like how many gold records does Bianca have? We decided she needs to own a label, something that maybe eight years ago we would not have thought about. Now you see them both taking ownership of their destinies inside their respective careers.”
Thompson notes that, in addition to conveying the changes in the couple’s life together via performance, “It’s so fun to work with all the different departments to think about how you communicate that without words. Of course, you can say it with dialogue, but also with the way their house looks, the way that they dress or the cars that they drive—to really add texture.”
In particular, she enjoyed working closely with Lizz Wolf. “Lizz, who does costumes so brilliantly, helped me express Bianca’s success in what she wears, while also retaining her authenticity so that she still feels like somebody you’d meet next door in Philly, even though they now live in LA. I think that’s the thing that’s so enjoyable about playing a character over a long period of time—you get to really refine it and explore all of those facets of their character using every element you see on screen.”
Over the years, perhaps the most significant change in Bianca and Adonis’s life is the addition of their daughter, who entered their world in the last installment of the series. After a nationwide search, the filmmakers cast nine-year-old Mila Davis-Kent to play Amara in this film. It was important to them to cast a deaf actor in the role in order to authentically explore the complexities of the character.
This being her first feature film, Davis-Kent says, “Michael would give me some help as a director, he would help me with my emotions, how to convey those as Amara,” says Davis-Kent. “He would give me advice to try things in scenes: ‘Just try it out, see how it feels,’ he’d say. And when I did it, it came out great. It felt spot-on.”
Davis-Kent also says she discovered that “Amara’s personality is very similar to my own; she’s a really tough girl, hardheaded, stubborn. Very stubborn,” she smiles, “but also very sweet. She loves her family. She’s very caring and wants to protect her family. She’s very kind at heart. That all resonates with me.”
The filmmakers brought in an ASL consultant, Jeremy Lee Stone, also appearing in the film as Amara’s teacher, to advise on elements of the script, engage with the crew as needed, and even to work with department heads like Wolf to ensure Davis-Kent’s costume designs—specifically fabric choices—were not distracting, in order to allow for the actress’s performance.
Wolf’s designs fit the bill in every way. “I loved all of the costumes,” says Davis-Kent. “The wardrobe was phenomenal. Every time I would go in, I would think, ‘Wow! I get to pick all these different clothes,’ and they were all so cute and I just love clothes in general, so it was a lot of fun.”
For the newcomer, the real joy was in being a part of the story they were telling. “This movie is about Adonis, Bianca, and Amara Creed as a family and their boxing legacy,” she says. “Amara really looks up to her dad a lot, but she’s learning a lot from both her mom and her dad, and it makes Amara stronger and braver.”
“Mila is terrific in the film, and Amara represents the next generation,” Jordan states. “Boxing’s always been about fathers and sons, and I wanted to explore what it was like for fathers and daughters—like Muhammad Ali and his daughter, Laila, who was also a pro boxer. I wanted to see what that would look like as far as where this film franchise was going and what that felt like in the story. I personally know a lot of strong men in my life who have daughters and felt showing something that would make Adonis not just a better fighter, but a better man, a better father, a better husband… This was something that we wanted to include in the story.”
Though he believes he’s put his own time in the ring behind him and looks toward supporting the next generation of fighters, Adonis’s past comes back to haunt him, forcing him to rethink his choices.
Jonathan Majors’ Damian Anderson, aka Dame, is Adonis’s childhood friend—and a ghost from his past who returns to demand a rematch of sorts. When he tells Adonis he was the best, he just never got a chance to prove it, he is not merely reminiscing about the old days.
“When people see the film, they’ll see that this is actually two people who once loved each other, seemingly trying to reconnect, but one overplays the hand,” says Majors. Looking back at their history, he notes, “Because of the society they were in, because of the actions that they took, Dame ended up having to deal with the penal system and go to prison. While in there, he held onto the brotherly love between him and Donnie. What had kept them both afloat when they were in the midst of poverty, of foster care, of the streets, was that dream they shared of boxing; that was their ticket.
“Damian, the stronger and older fighter teaching the younger boxer who was like his younger brother how to fight—and ultimately how to survive—never left him,” Majors continues. “In prison, Dame keeps his bond with Adonis by watching him work and watching him win, you know, and essentially living the dream that they both had. But that also leads to an adversarial spirit, which breeds resentment.”
Jordan observes, “Jonathan Majors is incredible, a phenomenal actor and person. I kind of cold-called him for the film! He was on a set, and I told him how incredible I thought he was. We had met briefly previously, and we kind of talked it through. He started diving into the character right away and bought into everything. It’s a type of character we haven’t seen him play before.”
Working with Majors merged the personal and the professional, real life and reel life: “I wanted to create a bond in front of the camera and off. Jonathan is someone that I would consider a good friend, especially after filming ‘Creed III.’ Once you go through a film like this together, you’re connected for life.”
“The conversations that Mike and I had on the set, and before and during filming—just like the conversations Damian and Adonis were having—were life-changing for me as an actor, and healing for me as an actor and a person,” says Majors.
The physicality of the role was one of many things Majors found interesting about playing Damian. “I’ve never played a character that was so communicative with their body in the way Dame is, the way you can learn about him solely from his body language and the way he moves,” Majors says. “I had always been athletic, I used to play football, basketball, and run cross country. I had a best friend growing up in my neighborhood in Texas who was a boxer, and I’d watch him and kind of try to copy what he was doing. He was the real deal, a Golden Gloves competitor. I followed him to the gym and tried it. And I would think to myself, ‘You got it.’ It wasn’t until years later, where I was like, ‘Oh, you don’t got it!’ But when I started training for this film and learned the fight choreography and worked with the supervising stunt coordinator, Clayton Barber, I picked it up pretty quickly. I was a quick study. I just had a dogged mentality about getting it right.”
Barber affirms, “Jonathan’s a rare breed, a workhorse. He put in the time—he’d been boxing probably for eight months nonstop before production, putting in the hours, putting in the work. For the role of Damian, we wanted a style that is unique, a very rough-and-tough style is what we created, one that sort of juxtaposes the fine Cadillac that is champ Felix Chavez—a very professional boxer. Damian comes from the hard knocks streets of L.A. and he’s been in prison, where he’s picked up a few tricks. Now that he’s returned, he’s really at the point of no return.”
Barber worked with Jordan to devise the fights. “For the choreography, Michael wanted to do something inspired by an anime perspective, to try to capture this violent ballet that boxers do. It was really great, because working with the actors and with Kramer’s team, we would come close up to the glove, change speeds and set up a very melodramatic experience for the audience.”
Says Thompson, “When Adonis is facing the possibility of confronting his old friend in the ring, and then when it finally happens, what’s weighing on him is what’s in front of him: the past. And Bianca wants to make sure that Adonis is really cleared of all of that noise, so he can focus on what’s at hand, so he can fight from a place of power.
“That’s something I’ve always found really inspirational and aspirational about the love Adonis and Bianca share, that they’re constantly pushing each other to be the best versions of themselves,” Thompson continues. “That can sound like sort of a cliche when we talk about relationships, but I don’t think we often see real-life models of that in the stories we tell. But I think it’s what we’re all looking for.”
Wood Harris also returns as Tony “Little Duke” Burton, Adonis’ experienced trainer and cornerman, whose father Duke was Apollo Creed’s trusted cornerman in the 1970s and ‘80s. The presence of the character adds another layer of camaraderie for Adonis.
Harris asserts, “I think that this film is truly the beginning of something new in the series. There was the initial bridge between ‘Creed’ and ‘Rocky,’ and that still exists, but it’s almost like we’ve crossed a bridge, in a sense. We still have that same energy, only now it has some things that are new to it. ‘Rocky’ was the seed that grew ‘Creed,’ and now with ‘Creed III,’ we’re at a new point, a new peak, and it’s phenomenal.
“When Duke and Adonis become partners, it’s sort of a natural progression,” continues Harris. “Duke is more than a trainer—they have a kinship that’s from their fathers, Apollo and Duke Sr. So, it’s a natural evolution, and with Adonis moving into promoting and looking into the future of other fighters, Little Duke is there to help and be a partner in those endeavors.”
Like Jordan, Majors was also a fan and enjoyed working with Harris, noting, “It was fun to play scenes with Wood, because I admire him so much. Wood’s an NYU graduate, I’m a Yale graduate, but we had the same teacher, and we had similar training as East Coast actors. I love the energy, youthfulness and fullness Wood brings to the character of Duke.”
Always in Adonis’s corner is mom Mary-Anne Creed, portrayed by esteemed acting icon and humanitarian Phylicia Rashad. “Mary-Anne is the family matriarch,” says Jordan. “Her storyline provides Adonis the chance to face so many things: How do you recover from loss? How do you cope and deal and grieve and mourn? And as with much of our lives, there’s some type of regret, emotionally. I wanted to put a mirror up to the audiences in those moments, and how that relationship with Mary-Anne impacts Adonis is so important.”
Rounding out the main cast and making his feature film debut as Felix Chavez, the champ vouched by Adonis and Duke and who has a critical match with Damian, is José Benavidez, former Welterweight Golden Gloves champ and 11-time national champion from California. Benavidez became the youngest-ever Golden Gloves champion when he won the title at age 16.
“It’s great to have actual fighters in the film who really know the boxing world,” says Jordan. “As an actor, you’re scoping out how genuine you are within that world. There are many genuine boxers and referees involved in ‘Creed III.’ It’s great to have people like José on the set when you’re doing fighting scenes—it added authenticity to the world we were creating.”
Having familiar faces in front of and behind the camera wasn’t lost on first-time director Jordan, who revels in having fulfilled a long-held dream. “Directing, for me, was something that I didn’t think was possible until working with Ryan Coogler,” he explains. “The first time I stepped on set for ‘Fruitvale Station’ and saw a young black man from a similar place as me, around my age, directing a feature film… I saw myself in him. And Ryan eventually told me, ‘Mike, there’s no right time for this—when you find something that speaks to you, just jump for it and go for it.’ I’ve been quietly watching and learning, listening, and putting together things that inspire and excite me. And that’s what I did with ‘Creed III.’”
Says Jonathan Majors, “Talking about Mike as a director, I’ve never felt more taken care of as far as the world-building of the film, the understanding of the character I was playing. It’s never been so concrete in the best way. We worked in such a way where it was a real collaboration. He trusted, for whatever reason, that I was going to do the job, and when you feel that trust, you want to deliver. And as an actor, it amazed me how our chemistry worked.”
Adds Tessa Thompson, “‘Creed III’ was the perfect project for Michael to direct. First of all, his move to directing makes sense: he’s been acting since he was young and when you have the benefit of working with so many incredible people, you learn a lot. His getting to use all of the knowledge that he’s gained over the course of his career feels exactly right, particularly on ‘Creed III,’ because he knows the world of the films. Michael also has the kind of spirit that brings a group of people together to make them feel seen and taken care of. It was an honor to watch.”
“Bianca. Rocky. My dad. This is built on their shoulders.”
As they headed toward production in Atlanta, Georgia, Jordan worked with production designer Jahmin Assa to reinvent Adonis Creed’s world. Eight years have passed and that meant life—inside and out—would have changed quite a lot. “From the beginning, Mike had a very focused, solid vision of what the whole film needed to be. He understood all the nuances, all the little pieces of the story, all the beats we needed to hit. And it never wavered,” Assa affirms.
The designer notes that building the sets in Atlanta benefitted from Jordan’s commitment to getting every detail correct, whether it was recreating Dodger Stadium for the film’s climactic “Battle for Los Angeles,” the mean streets of Los Angeles to swanky Bel Air, the Creeds’ stylized home that reflects their success, Adonis’s gym that stands for his future, or—perhaps the most personal for the director—the circa 2002 bedroom of young Adonis seen in the film’s opening scenes.
“It was really touching to hear Michael talk about some of the stuff in the bedroom that reflects the young Adonis’s life,” says Assa. “The challenge for us was, ‘How do we represent a kid who was in a juvenile boys’ home with a very rough childhood behind him, who all of a sudden is brought by Apollo’s wife Mary-Anne to a nice home in Bel Air?’ So, we put a lot of CDs in there, lots of L.A. Lakers memorabilia, posters, an old-school iMac. Some classic, old-school car culture. It was great to create. It was highly collaborative, and Michael was very receptive and open to so many things.”
“There were a lot of things in the room of young Adonis that were from my childhood, things that I grew up on,” says Jordan, “I just always fell in love with this idea of seeing what a young kid’s room would look like—in Adonis’s case, a kid who’s adopted and then brought into a life of wealth and opportunity and legacy, which creates a sort of identity crisis.”
However, for Jordan, what truly gives “Creed III” its memorable one-two punch onscreen is the result of hard work and dedication in every corner of the production. The actors who brought the story to life via their characters, who echo the big and small decisions and twists and turns in life, set against a heightened cinematic—and in this case, actual—canvas.
For Michael B. Jordan, portraying Adonis Creed for the third time while also directing the film was like throwing down the gauntlet for himself, tapping into reserves of strength and creativity, drama and psychological makeup.
“We wanted to further develop Adonis as a character,” he states. “We thought, ‘How would Adonis be fighting if he was a little bit insecure in certain places? What if he had a hell of a lot to prove? How many risks would he take, how much would he be willing to take in the ring? How many times would be willing to get punched, and how much damage is he willing to take?’ All of that played into the performance. It was important to go back to the character and, realizing who Adonis is, figure out ways to keep it all intimate and true to character and story.”
Jordan sums up by confirming that for audiences, “This is a movie to see on the big screen! The fights, the action, you want to see that up close and personal, you want to feel every punch, hear every impact, see every drip of sweat and drop of blood. This is a movie that will make you laugh, cry, and cheer! I want everybody to walk away feeling good, thinking, ‘Man, that was a ride!’”
“Let go of whatever was…and walk into what is.”
Actor/producer Michael B. Jordan is an industry leader invested in bringing social change to Hollywood through his art and philanthropy. He was recently named one of TIME’s 100 Most Influential People of 2020, People’s 2020 Sexiest Man Alive and one of New York Times’ 25 Greatest Actors of the 21st Century. Most recently, he produced and starred in the Denzel Washington-directed feature JOURNAL FOR JORDAN. He also starred in the NBA’s short film ad, “NBA Lane”, in celebration of its 75th Anniversary season, which AdAge named as “top 5 creative campaign” of the week. Jordan also recently starred in the record-breaking Super Bowl LV commercial for Amazon Alexa, which topped social/digital charts according to AdWeek and Deadline. It was also named Fast Company’s “Best Super Bowl Ad of 2021.”
Up next, he will reprise the role of Adonis Creed in CREED III, a project for which he will also make his feature film directorial debut. The film is slated for a March 3, 2023 wide release. Additionally, he will star in and produce Danny Boyle’s METHUSELAH, as well as re-team for the fourth time with director Ryan Coogler on WRONG ANSWER.
Recently, Jordan starred in and produced WITHOUT REMORSE, released on Amazon Prime Video on April 30, 2021. Based on the Tom Clancy series, Jordan took on the iconic role of John Clark. He also starred in and produced the critically acclaimed film, JUST MERCY, based on the memoir of Bryan Stevenson -- attorney, social justice activist and founder of the Equal Justice Initiative. Prior to start of production, Jordan partnered with Warner Media on the creation of a first-of-its-kind company-wide inclusion policy, with JUST MERCY becoming the first film made under the new policy. The film premiered at the 2019 Toronto International Film Festival and released wide on January 10, 2020.
In 2019, Jordan was awarded the NAACP Image Award for ‘Best Supporting Actor’ and a 2019 SAG Award as part of BLACK PANTHER’s ‘Best Ensemble’, following critical acclaim for his multi-dimensional portrayal of the tormented Erik Killmonger. The Disney/Marvel juggernaut directed by Ryan Coogler grossed over $1.3B at the global box office and was nominated for a 2019 Academy Award for ‘Best Picture’. In late 2018, he starred in and produced CREED II, returning to the role of Adonis Creed. CREED II broke box office records as the highest-grossing live-action film to ever open on Thanksgiving Weekend.
In 2016, Jordan launched Outlier Society, a cutting-edge production company focused on bringing an eclectic and inclusive lineup of diverse stories and voices to market. In 2018 the company co-produced the Emmy-nominated HBO Films’ adaptation of FAHRENHEIT 451, which netted Jordan a Producers Guild Award. Also under Outlier Society’s domain is the OWN drama series DAVID MAKES MAN from Oscar-winning MOONLIGHT co-writer Tarell Alvin McCraney. The first season was nominated as “Best Drama Series” for a Critics’ Choice Award and a Broadcast Film Critics Association Award, as well as for a Peabody Award and a Gotham Award in the “Breakthrough Series - Longform” category. They also produced the second season. This past year, the company saw the premiere of AMC’c 61st Street, a legal drama series starring Courtney B. Vance, and the second season of RAISING DION which was one of Netflix’s most-streamed shows of 2019.
Outlier Society is producing two upcoming projects with Amazon Studios including THE GREATEST, a Muhammad Ali series, and VICTORIES GREATER THAN DEATH, based off Charlie Jane Anders’s novel of the same name, which is currently nominated for the Andrew Norton Nebula Award for Middle Grade and Young Adult Fiction, the Hugo Award for Best Young Adult Book, and is a Finalist for the 2022 Locus Award for Best Young Adult Novel. Outlier Society’s impressive upcoming slate includes include Amazon Studios' adaptation of the highly-anticipated novel YOU MADE A FOOL OF DEATH WITH YOUR BEAUTY by Akwaeke Emezi, STATIC SHOCK, a live action adaptation of DC Comics’ ground-breaking series, being penned by Randy McKinnon and with Reginald Hudlin also producing alongside Outlier; THOMAS CROWN AFFAIR being written by Wes Tooke, an adaption of BLACK LEOPARD, RED WOLF by acclaimed author Marlon James, being adapted by Academy Award-winning writer Tarell McCraney and the Danny Boyle-directed action/thriller METHUSELAH. In the TV space, Outlier's upcoming projects include the second season of RAISING DION, one of Netflix’s most streamed shows of 2019, 61st STREET for AMC, and the recently aired second season of DAVID MAKES MAN for OWN.
Jordan continues to be an architect for change in the community and in 2019, with the support of the Obama Foundation and My Brother’s Keeper, launched the Outlier Society Fellowship. Born out of the desire to create more opportunities for underrepresented backgrounds or communities, the core curriculum focuses on developing the next generation of media, arts and entertainment industry leaders. In response to the social justice movement that has swept the country, Jordan and Color of Change launched the #ChangeHollywood initiative in July 2020, which begins with a roadmap for change that lays out tangible ways to invest in anti-racist content and authentic Black stories, invest in Black talent and reinvest police funds to support Black communities. In support of his hometown of Newark’s community, Jordan most recently announced the Invesco QQQ Legacy Classic, an inaugural historically-black-colleges-and-universities (HBCU) basketball showcase in partnership with Turner Sports, Invesco QQQ, WME Sports, Harris Blitzer Sports & Entertainment (HBSE), and Scout/Horizon Media. The one-day, doubleheader basketball showcase will feature an immersive cultural experience highlighting elements of HBCU life and culture including Battle of the Bands, culinary events, live musical performances, film festivals, college and career opportunities and more. The event will be held on December 18, 2021 at the Prudential Center in Newark, N.J., and will feature four of the top Division I HBCU Men’s basketball programs.
Jordan first garnered industry-wide attention for his breakout role in FRUITVALE STATION, which won the Grand Jury Prize and Audience Award at Sundance Film Festival in 2013 among other accolades that year.
Tessa Thompson is a critically acclaimed actress and is making her mark as a producer as well. In 2019, she appeared on the cover of TIME magazine as the Leader of the Next Generation.
Up next, Thompson will be seen as ‘Bianca’ in “Creed III,” which is set to release on March 3, 2023 opposite Michael B. Jordan. Creed II released in 2018 and the first film released in 2015. Jordan will make his directorial debut with “Creed III” and will also co-produce alongside Sylvester Stallone and Ryan Coogler.
Thompson can be seen in the Emmy nominated, hit HBO drama series “Westworld” as ‘Charlotte Hale,’ a mysterious and savvy provocateur with a unique perspective of Westworld. Executive produced by J.J. Abrams and Jonathan Nolan and inspired by writer-director Michael Crichton’s 1973 feature of the same name, the series garnered a total of 43 Emmy nominations combined from its first and second seasons. Season 4 released on HBO in June 2022.
In 2022, Thompson reprised her role as ‘Valkyrie,’ in the fourth installment of the world-renowned Thor franchise, “Thor: Love and Thunder.” She originated the role in 2017 in “Thor: Ragnarok,” opposite Chris Hemsworth. Directed by Taika Waititi, the Marvel Cinematic Universe blockbuster film grossed over $800 million worldwide. She also made a brief appearance in “Avengers: Endgame” in April 2020.
In 2021, Thompson starred opposite Ruth Negga in Rebecca Hall’s “Passing” which Thompson also Executive Produced. The film premiered at the 2021 Sundance Film Festival and Netflix acquired the film following its successful debut. The film is an adaptation of Nella Larsen’s 1920s Harlem Renaissance novel that explores the practice of racial passing, a term used for a person who classifies as a member of one racial group who seeks to be accepted by a different racial group. Passing released globally on Netflix in November 2021.
In 2020, Thompson starred in Amazon’s “Sylvie’s Love,” which she executive produced and co-starred alongside Nnamdi Asomugha. Set in New York City during the 1950s and 60s, the story follows ‘Sylvie’ (Thompson) who meets aspiring saxophonist ‘Robert’ (Asomugha). Directed by Eugene Ashe, Sylvie’s Love was nominated for a 2021 Emmy Award in the category “Outstanding Television Movie” and a 2021 NAACP Image Award in the category “Outstanding Television Movie, Limited–Series or Dramatic Special.”
That same year, Thompson starred in QCode’s mystery-sci-fi podcast series “The Left Right Game,” which she also produced. The 10-episode series podcast was created by Jack Anderson and is based on his original internet blog of the same name. Following the successful release of the audio drama, Amazon Studios secured the rights to turn this series into a television show with Thompson also producing.
In 2019, Thompson voiced the titular character ‘Lady’ in Disney’s live-action re-imagining of “Lady and the Tramp,” opposite Justin Theroux. Based on the 1955 animated picture of the same name, the film premiered on Disney+. That same year, Thompson starred as ‘Agent M’ opposite Chris Hemsworth in Sony Pictures’ “Men in Black: International,” the fourth installment of the film series. The film was produced by Laurie MacDonald and Walter F. Parkes, executive produced by Steven Spielberg and directed by F. Gary Gray. That year Thompson also starred as ‘Ollie’ in the NEON independent drama “Little Woods,” opposite Lily James. The film debuted at the 2018 Tribeca Film Festival.
In 2018, Thompson starred as 'Detroit’ in Boots Riley’s “Sorry to Bother You.” Following its world premiere at the 2018 Sundance Film Festival, the dark comedy was acquired by Annapurna Pictures and later received numerous accolades such as an NAACP Image Award nomination, Film Independent Spirit Award, National Board of Review Award and a Gotham Audience Award. Earlier that year, Thompson starred as ‘Josie Radek’ in sci-fi thriller, “Annihilation,” opposite Natalie Portman. The film was distributed by Paramount Pictures, based on the best-selling novel of the same name, and directed by Alex Garland.
In 2014, Thompson portrayed the civil rights activist ‘Diane Nash’ in the Brad Pitt and Oprah Winfrey produced film, “Selma.” After its initial premiere at the American Film Institute Festival, the drama received a wider theatrical release. As a result of the film’s critical recognition, it garnered a Golden Globe and an Academy Award nomination for “Best Picture.” Additionally, in 2014, Thompson starred as ‘Samantha White’ in Director Justin Simien’s independent satirical drama, “Dear White People.” The film debuted at the 2014 Sundance Film Festival and received favorable reviews. Thompson’s performance earned her a Gotham Award for “Breakthrough Actor,” as well as a nomination for “Outstanding Actress in a Motion Picture” for the 46th Annual NAACP Image Awards.
In 2016, Thompson made her Off-Broadway debut as ‘Valerie’ in the Second Stage Theater production “Smart People,” alongside Joshua Jackson, Mahershala Ali and Anne Son. “Smart People” takes place during President Barack Obama’s final term in 2008 and analyzes his journey to the White House and how his race changed the conversation about race itself.
Thompson’s career took off at the young age of 18 following her professional debut as ‘Juliet’ in the “Romeo and Juliet: Antebellum New Orleans 1836” theater performance, for which she received an NAACP Image Award nomination. In 2006, she made her first feature film appearance as ‘Scarlet’ in the horror film remake of “When a Stranger Calls.” Between 2008 and 2009, Thompson also appeared in the films “Make it Happen,” “The Human Contract,” “Periphery,” “Red & Blue Marbles” and “Mississippi Damned” for which she was awarded a Grand Jury prize in the category for “Best Actress.” Additional film credits include ‘Nyla/Purple’ in Tyler Perry’s film “For Colored Girls,” “War on Everyone,” and “Furlough.”
Additionally, Thompson’s other television credits include ‘Jackie Cook’ on the second season of the hit drama “Veronica Mars,” ‘Sara Freeman’ on BBC’s first original scripted program “Copper,” and guest roles in the CW’s sci-fi drama “Heroes,” ‘CBS’s police series “Cold Case,” ABC’s medical series “Grey’s Anatomy,” the CW’s teen drama “Hidden Palms,” NBC’s “Life,” ABC’s “Private Practice,” TNT’s “Rizzoli & Isles,” ABC’s “Off the Map,” and ABC’s “666 Park Avenue.”
Thompson launched her own production company, Viva Maude, in 2020, anchored by a first-look TV deal with both HBO and HBO Max. The company was born from Thompson's desire to shape culture with work that's uncategorizable and manifestly entertaining. In 2021, Kishori Rajan (Random Acts of Flyness) joined Thompson as her producing partner to continue to build Viva Maude's production and development slate. Announced projects include “The Secret Lives of Church Ladies” at HBO Max, “Who Fears Death” at HBO, “Luster” at HBO, and “The Left Right Game” at Amazon.
Thompson is the newest face of Armani beauty.
Emmy, Critics’ Choice, Independent Spirit and Gotham award nominee Jonathan Majors cemented himself as the Hollywood actor to watch following his on-screen debut in 2017’s ABC miniseries “When We Rise.”
The actor can currently be seen starring in Black Label Media’s DEVOTION, directed by J.D. Dillard. The screenplay is based on Adam Makos’ bestselling book “Devotion: An Epic Story of Heroism, Friendship, and Sacrifice” and follows the true story of two elite U.S. Navy fighter pilots during the Korean war. Majors will play Jesse Brown, the first black man in U.S. Naval history to become a fighter pilot. The film premiered at TIFF and was released in theaters on November 23, 2022. The actor most recently wrapped production on MAGAZINE DREAMS, written and directed by Elijah Bynum, which is set to premiere at the 2023 Sundance Film Festival. Majors serves as an executive producer on the project under his Tall Street Productions. MAGAZINE DREAMS is the story of a Black amateur bodybuilder struggles to find human connection in this exploration of celebrity and violence.
Following his surprise appearance in the penultimate episode of the hit Marvel series “Loki,” Majors will soon be seen as Kang The Conqueror in ANT-MAN AND THE WASP: QUANTUMANIA, which will open in theaters on February 17, 2023. Majors made a huge splash at San Diego Comic Con 2022 where Marvel announced that Majors’ highly anticipated Kang will surely be expanded on in AVENGERS: THE KANG DYNASTY, which will be released on May 2, 2025. Marvel also announced that AVENGERS: SECRET WARS will hit theaters on November 7, 2025, which further suggests that Majors’ Kang, or rather, one of the seemingly infinite time travel variants of Kang, will be a key player in the multiverse.
This Spring, Majors will also star in CREED III, slated for theatrical release on March 3, 2023 as a mysterious villain set to face off against Michael B Jordan's Adonis Creed. The film will follow the continuing story of Adonis Creed, the son of Apollo Creed, as he deals with the legacy of his legendary father. Majors is also set to star in and produce THE MAN IN MY BASEMENT, the film adaptation of the Walter Mosley novel. Protagonist Pictures will fully finance and cameras are expected to roll later this year.
In 2021, Majors starred in Jeymes Samuel’s directorial debut as outlaw Nat Love in THE HARDER THEY FALL opposite Idris Elba. Produced by Jay-Z, James Lassiter, Lawrence Bender and Samuel, the film opened the London Film Festival and premiered on Netflix on November 3rd 2021. THE HARDER THEY FALL follows Majors’ character who discovers that the man who killed his parents two decades ago is being released from prison. The character then reunites with his gang to track his enemy down and seek his revenge.
The previous year, the actor starred in HBO’s straight-to-series drama "Lovecraft Country,” executive produced by showrunner Misha Green along with J.J. Abrams and Jordan Peele. The series follows Majors’ character as he road trips across 1950’s Jim Crow America. The show went on to break digital records for the network. Majors’ portrayal of Atticus Freeman earned him his first Emmy nomination, and the show was nominated for “Outstanding Drama Series.” The actor’s performance was also recognized with Critics’ Choice and NAACP Image award nominations, and the series was nominated for Golden Globe and SAG awards for “Best Television Series, Drama” and “Outstanding Performance by an Ensemble in a Drama Series,” respectively.
Majors can be seen in Spike Lee's epic war drama DA 5 BLOODS. Filmed in southeast Asia, Majors stars as the son of one of the five bloods and joins them in Vietnam on their search for their gold fortune and fallen squad leader. The film also stars Delroy Lindo, Chadwick Boseman, and Jean Reno and it became available on Netflix worldwide in June 2020. The movie was named one of AFI’s “Top Films of the Year” in addition to winning NBR’s “Best Film” and “Best Ensemble” categories. The cast also received a SAG award nomination for “Outstanding Performance by a Cast in a Motion Picture”. Majors can also recently be seen in GULLY. Directed by Nabil Elderkin and written by Marcus Guillory, GULLY is the explosive and timely story of three boyhood friends surviving an upbringing in LA’s roughest neighborhoods.
Majors is also in talks to star as the titular character in Spike Lee and Stefon Bristol’s GORDON HEMINGWAY & THE REALM OF CTHULHU at Netflix. Based on an original screenplay by Hank Woon, with rewrites by Fredrica Bailey, the film is set in East Africa in 1928 and centers on Hemingway, a roguish Black American gunslinger, who teams up with the elite warrior Princess Zenebe of Ethiopia to rescue the country’s kidnapped regent from an ancient evil.
In February 2019, Majors received rave reviews for his performance in Joe Talbot's THE LAST BLACK MAN IN SAN FRANCISCO following its premiere at the Sundance Film Festival. The movie marks Majors' first leading role and was released on June 7th, 2019, in New York, San Francisco and Los Angeles before rolling out to other markets later that month. For his role as “Montgomery Allen”, Majors was nominated for a Gotham Award in the category of “Breakthrough Actor” and an Independent Spirit Award for “Best Supporting Male.” The Hollywood Reporter also went on to name him as one of Hollywood’s rising young stars in its 2019 Next Gen Talent feature.
Also, in 2019, Majors was seen in Max Winkler's JUNGLELAND where he appeared alongside Charlie Hunnam, Jessica Barden and Jack O'Connell. The movie premiered at the 2019 Toronto International Film Festival and was released in theaters November 6, 2020. That same year the actor was seen in Focus Features’ sci-fi thriller CAPTIVE STATE directed by Rupert Wyatt and he also starred in GULLY opposite Amber Heard, Robin Givens and Terrence Howard. The latter of which premiered at the Tribeca Film Festival in April 2019.
In 2018, Majors starred in Sony Pictures’ WHITE BOY RICK alongside Matthew McConaughey and Jennifer Jason Leigh, directed by Yann Demange. In 2017, he appeared in Scott Cooper’s American Western film HOSTILES opposite Christian Bale, Rosamund Pike, Vera Farmiga, and John Goodman.
Majors serves on the Board of Directors of The Gotham Film & Media Institute. Jonathan graduated from the Yale School of Drama with an MFA in acting and was a recipient of the Lloyd Richards Scholarship and the Jerome L. Green Scholarship. A native of Dallas, Texas, and graduate of North Carolina School of the Arts, Jonathan’s extensive stage credits include productions of “Henry V,” “A Raisin in the Sun,” “The Tempest” and several plays by August Wilson, including “Fences” (director, Kenny Leon) and “Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom” (director, Ruben Santiago-Hudson), both at The Greene Space. Jonathan is the winner of the 2015 National Society of Arts and Letters (NSAL) National Drama Competition.
Wood Harris is an accomplished actor and producer widely recognized for his starring role as Avon Barksdale on "The greatest TV series of the 21st Century", HBO's THE WIRE and in classic films like PAID IN FULL, REMEMBER THE TITANS, and The CREED saga. A native of Chicago, Wood holds a Master Of Fine Arts degree from New York University's Tisch School Of The Arts and is also a talented theater actor who has starred in many stage productions on and off Broadway. Some of Wood's recent work includes his critically acclaimed performance as Spencer Haywood in the highly acclaimed HBO series, WINNING TIME, Pat in the gritty Starz drama, BLACK MAFIA FAMILY, and Damon Cross in the final season of the FOX hit series, EMPIRE. Upcoming projects include CREED 3, reprising his role as Tony "Little Duke" Burton and the Lebron James Biopic, SHOOTING STARS.
10-year-old newcomer Mila Davis-Kent (Amara Creed) will make her feature debut in MGM's CREED 3 (Directed by Michael B Jordan). Mila was a discovery out of a nation-wide open call seeking authentic young Deaf actresses. Davis-Kent’s outgoing personality and ability to connect with an intricate, endearing and pivotal character at such a young age won her the role, plus her connection with Michael is undeniable. Amara Creed was first introduced in Creed 2 as the daughter of Adonis Creed & Bianca Taylor. Amara inherited her mother's progressive hearing disorder and was born deaf.
Davis-Kent recently made her television debut in the 100th episode of THE RESIDENT (Fox) in a dynamic scene stealing performance and she is quickly making her mark as one to watch. She loves to swim and spend time with large and loving her family. Mila and her family are now based in California.
Thaddeus danced and rapped his way into the hearts of millions of viewers nationwide at the tender age of 7 by making his debut on the hit NBC show ‘Little Big Shots,’ hosted by Steve Harvey. Rapping, singing and dancing became an obsession for the younger Thaddeus but since that time, he has added acting to his repertoire by landing a lead role in the Disney Plus film, “Safety.” Shortly after, Thaddeus proved that acting would be more than a past time by securing his next role in the Universal Pictures film, “South Of Heaven,” starring Michael Colter, Evangeline Lilly, and Jason Sudeikis. Thaddeus won AFIN’s International Film Festival Best Young Artist for his performance. After his win Thaddeus has also booked a series regular role playing Spencer in ABC’s new crime drama series “Reasonable Doubt” directed by Kerry Washington. Thaddeus also just wrapped the feature film “Creed III '' with Young Adonis played and directed by Michael B. Jordan. Thaddeus is currently filming Candy Cane Lane, playing opposite Eddie Murphy, Nick Offerman, Tracee Ellis Ross and directed by Reginald Hudlin.
It should be no surprise that Thaddeus takes his craft seriously, which is why he took on the moniker ‘Papa Jay’ as his music industry persona, which properly depicts his “old soul” and ability beyond his years. Thaddeus hasn’t forgotten his roots in music either. Case in point, the release of his EP titled “Freshman” and his work with top music producers, Boogz Da Beast, Troy Taylor, Harmony, Samuels, and J. Classic. Thaddeus (known musically as Papajay) already gained the number one song on Chicago’s largest Urban radio station and his new song "I ain’t Playin" hit over a million views on SoundCloud. His favorite hobbies are basketball and video games.
Spence Moore II has quickly established himself as a highly sought-after young actor having worked with top tier producers on a range of diverse projects. Moore II recently voiced a role alongside Gaten Matarrazzo and Leighton Meester in Netflix’s Annie Award Best Animated Feature nominated “My Father’s Dragon.” In the two last year, Spence has worked with a series of first-time feature film directors - Michael B. Jordan Creed III, Chris Spencer Back on the Strip and Max Chernov Going Places. In MGM’s Creed III Moore II joins returning cast Tessa Thompson and Phylicia Rashad and new cast Jonathan Mayors. The film produced by Jordan, Ryan Coogler and Jonathan Glickman will be released theatrically on March 3, 2023. Chris Spencer’s (“Real Husbands of Hollywood,” “Grown-ish”), Back on the Strip, featured legendary actor Wesley Snipes and comedy great Tiffany Haddish. The comedy chronicles a series of escapades as Merlin (Moore II) tries to achieve magician success, pursuing his dream girl and finding family in the process. Stampede Ventures Going Places is a dark action comedy that marks the directing debut of Max Chernov, who wrote the script. After covering up a hit and run on the way to their valedictory desert getaway, three high school graduates face the true test of their friendship when they become entangled in a deadly crime ring imbroglio. He stars alongside Ethan Cutkosky (Shameless) and Chloe East (Generation).
In 2020, Moore II starred in the Luca Guadagnino, HBO and SKY Italia coming-of-age drama series, “We Are Who We Are,” alongside Chloë Sevigny, Jack Dylan Grazer and Scott “Kid Cudi” Mescudi. For four seasons, he has been seen on the Peacock comedy series “A.P. Bio,” executive produced by Lorne Michaels & Seth Meyers, and recurring on The CW drama series “All American,” from executive producer Greg Berlanti. Moore II previously starred alongside Hayley Kiyoko and Madison Pettis in the Facebook Watch Series drama series “Five Points.” Executive produced Kerry Washington and directed Thomas Carter (Save the Last Dance), the series follows the trials and tribulations of five teens in a Southside Chicago high school and how the daily pressures they face lead to difficult choices which sometimes have life-altering outcomes.
Moore II currently recurs on ABC’s “The Wonder Years” reboot, as Dean’s nurturing older brother Bruce, the eldest Williams child and star athlete who was drafted in Vietnam war. He has also guest-starred on series including ABC’s Freeform’s “Good Trouble” and ‘Grown-ish,” NBC’s “The Rookie,” “Crackle,” and “StartUp,” Netflix’s “13 Reasons Why,” BET’s “Rebel,” Showtime’s “Ballers,” “Lady Dynamite,” “Last Man Standing,” and “Criminal Minds.” Born in St. Louis, Missouri, Moore II was bit by the acting bug at young age. He has trained with Yonda Davis Studios (Burbank), Gray’s Studio (North Hollywood), Anthony Meindl Actor Workshop (Hollywood) and most recently Majorie Ballentine (Hollywood).
Irwin Winkler’s career as a producer, director and writer encompasses popular and influential movies that have impacted contemporary culture. With a passion for big, bold, meaningful stories, his 58 films include an array of true screen classics, garnering among them 61 Oscar nominations and 12 Academy Awards.
Among Winkler’s multiple nominations include five Best Picture nominations, each for a pioneering film: the tale of underdog sports triumph, ROCKY, which forged one of most globally recognizable movie characters and themes in history and won an Oscar for Best Picture in 1977; RAGING BULL, which turned the biopic into a gritty, lyrical work of art; the history-capturing look at the U.S. space program, THE RIGHT STUFF, the iconic gangster tale GOODFELLAS and most recently 2020’s THE IRISHMAN which reunited Winkler with Martin Scorsese, Robert De Niro, Al Pacino and Joe Pesci and garnered nine Academy Award nominations. Winkler is the only producer honored with three films on the American Film Institute’s list of the “Top 100 Films.”
Winkler published his memoir A Life in Movies: Stories From 50 Years In Hollywood in 2019 to critical praise: Kirkus Reviews called it ‘A candid, revealing memoir from the acclaimed film producer and director. The New York Times wrote that ‘…Winkler looks back fondly on a career producing some of the most successful films of the 20th century’. Director Martin Scorsese said, ‘I’ve had the good fortune to work with Irwin Winkler on many pictures over the years, from the 70s up to the present, and he’s one of my most trusted and valued collaborators and friends...this book is valuable on multiple levels—as a lively memoir with more than one amazing inside story, as a first-hand work of cinema history, and as the testament of a pivotal figure in American moviemaking.’
Winker’s motion picture producing career started in the late 1960s when he produced his first film, the Elvis Presley movie DOUBLE TROUBLE, with the legendary director Norman Taurog. Soon after, he and Robert Chartoff producing the now classic revenge thriller POINT BLANK. In 1970, an eclectic trio of Winkler/Chartoff films each made a splash at the Cannes Film Festival: LEO THE LAST won the Best Director prize, the counter-culture cult film, THE STRAWBERRY STATEMENT received the Jury Award THEY SHOOT HORSES, DON’T THEY? garnered the closing night honors.
Winkler first began his decades long collaboration with director Martin Scorsese with NEW YORK, NEW YORK, starring Liza Minnelli and Robert De Niro, which produced one of the most recognizable songs in pop culture; the enduring masterpiece, RAGING BULL, considered by many to be among the great cinematic works of the 20th Century and highlighted by Robert De Niro’s Oscar winning performance; and GOODFELLAS, which was honored with numerous critics’ awards and has become etched in filmgoers’ consciousness as the paragon of the American crime drama; the Academy Award and Golden Globe nominated THE WOLF OF WALL STREET starring Leonardo DiCaprio; the critically acclaimed SILENCE in 2016 and THE IRISHMAN which opened the New York Film Festival on September 27, 2019 to universal acclaim.
The ROCKY franchise became a powerhouse cultural touchstone and commercial blockbuster as Winkler produced not only the Academy Award winning original, ROCKY, but continued with ROCKY II, ROCKY III, ROCKY IV, ROCKY V and ROCKY BALBOA spanning the years of 1976- 2006.
With an eye towards bringing the Rocky saga into modern day, Winkler hired a young director, Ryan Coogler, to take the franchise to new heights with CREED in 2015. Starring Michael B. Jordan and Sylvester Stallone, the film garnered both commercial and critical success; earning a Golden Globe nomination and Academy Award nomination for Sylvester Stallone. The film was named Outstanding Motion Picture from the NAACP Image Awards, the Black Film Critics Circle and named as one of the top films by the National Board of Review. CREED II followed in 2018 and garnered both critical praise and commercial success with Michael B. Jordan, Sylvester Stallone and Tessa Thompson reprised their roles and Steven Caple Jr. directing.
Winkler has never shied away from exploring the tough terrain of political subjects, even as the journey proved challenging in the face of more box-office friendly fare. The 1981 drama TRUE CONFESSIONS, written by Joan Didion and John Dunne, starred Robert De Niro and Robert Duvall as brothers uncovering a network of corruption between the Catholic Church and the 1940’s LAPD. ROUND MIDNIGHT, about an American expat jazz musician living in Paris, earned Dexter Gordon an Academy Award nomination and Herbie Hancock an Oscar win for Best Music, Original Score. Winkler also produced the explosive BETRAYED, starring Debra Winger as an FBI agent infiltrating a neo-Nazi community. MUSIC BOX, the critically acclaimed suspense thriller about a woman who discovers her father is an accused Nazi war criminal, earned an Oscar nomination for star Jessica Lange. Taking a spot behind the camera to direct HOME OF THE BRAVE, Winkler then became one of the very first American filmmakers to portray the return of U.S. veterans from the war in Iraq and the physical and psychological ramifications of their tour of duties. The film starred Samuel L. Jackson, Curtis “50 Cent” Jackson and Jessica Biel.
In 1989 Winkler made his directorial debut from his own screenplay, GUILTY BY SUSPICION, which was hailed by the New York Times as “A stirring and tragic evocation of terrible times” about Hollywood’s all-too-real blacklisting era. Starring Robert De Niro as a prominent director asked to “name names”, the film presaged a writing and directing career that would, like Winkler’s producing career, be focused on taut human drama and politically-charged themes and nominated for the Palme d’Or at the Cannes Film Festival.
Winkler’s next directorial outing reunited him with both Robert De Niro and Jessica Lange in the noir crime drama, NIGHT AND THE CITY, which would close the prestigious New York Film Festival in 1992 and become a rousing critical success. Winkler’s directorial career would continue to take intriguing turns as he went on to direct and produce AT FIRST SIGHT, a romantic drama based on a true story by Dr. Oliver Sacks, starring Val Kilmer, Mira Sorvino and Nathan Lane and the prescient cyber-crime thriller THE NET, starring Sandra Bullock, one of the big box-office hits of 1995 and he broached the thought-provoking question of what happens when a man suddenly faces his own mortality when he directed the poignantly complex LIFE AS A HOUSE, featuring a landmark performance by Kevin Kline.
Winkler next directed one of his most distinctive features, the musical biography of the legendary composer Cole Porter: DE-LOVELY. Featuring Golden Globe-nominated performances from Kevin Kline and Ashley Judd, as well as performances from pop and rock music talents, including Sheryl Crow, Alanis Morissette, Elvis Costello, Robbie Williams, Natalie Cole, and Diana Krall, all performing Porter’s classic songs, the film was selected as the closing night gala event at the 2004 Cannes Film Festival.
His most recent films include MGM’s CREED III, directed by and starring Michael B. Jordan alongside Tessa Thompson and Jonathan Majors. Also at MGM, Winkler will produce DRAGO, which will center on the Russian boxer and his son Viktor Drago. Next for Winkler will be THE WISE GUYS for Warner Bros. Starring Robert De Niro and directed by Barry Levinson from a script by Nicholas Pileggi, THE WISE GUYS follows two of New York’s most notorious organized crime bosses, Frank Costello and Vito Genovese, and how their separate paths to power place them on a deadly collision course.
For his contributions to the popular culture, Winkler has been the recipient of numerous American and international honors, including the Commandeur des Arts et Lettres, the French government’s highest decoration for contribution to the arts. In 1989, the British Film Institute saluted him with a retrospective of his work and in 1995, Winkler became the first producer to be honored with a showcase screening of ten of his films at the Deauville Film Festival. He has also received a Lifetime Achievement award from the Chicago Film Festival, a star on the Hollywood Boulevard Walk of Fame and retrospectives at the Museum of Modern Art in New York and the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, which had not honored a producer since their tribute to David O. Selznick in 1980. Winkler also received the National Board of Review’s highest honor for Career Achievement in Producing, which Kevin Kline presented to him at their annual gala in January 2007 in New York. Winkler has been honored and has taught master classes at The Deauville Film Festival and in 2019 at the Venice Film Festival. He was Jury President at the Tribeca Film Festival in 2012. Winkler was a Governor of the New York City Ballet and is currently on the Board of Directors of the Los Angeles Philharmonic. In April 2016, Winkler spoke at Harvard University’s Kennedy School on the political and social influence his films have had on both the U.S. and international culture and The American Cinematheque held a three-day retrospective in 2016 to honor Winkler by showcasing such works as GOODFELLAS, NEW YORK, NEW YORK and RAGING BULL, culminating with an onstage conversation alongside Martin Scorsese to discuss Winkler’s storied career. Winkler was honored in 2017 by the Producers Guild of America with the prestigious David O. Selznick Achievement Award which recognized his lifetime body of work.
David Winkler is a film producer of titles such as each CREED I & II, ROCKY BALBOA, THE GAMBLER and THE MECHANIC. David also directed several independent feature films, including FINDING GRACELAND, starring Harvey Keitel. His memoir, “The Arrangement: A Love Story” was published in 2022. David also helped launch the Broadway show NEW YORK, NEW YORK, which opens at the St. James Theater in April 2023.
Jonathan Glickman, a seasoned veteran of over 25 years in the entertainment business, is the founder and CEO of Panoramic Media, formerly known as Glickmania, an independent film and television production company, founded in February 2020. Panoramic is the natural evolution of Glickman’s continued focus on developing IP for established and emerging storytellers across all content platforms, including film, television, and podcasting.
Glickman’s deeply rooted foundation and respect for Hollywood innovation and tradition has inspired his determination to explore the creation of properties across all content platforms, including film, television, podcasting and music outlets. Backed by significant entertainment industry investors, including Gary Barber, Spyglass Media Group, UTA, Pinky Promise, Eagle Pictures, and Lantern IRA, Panoramic will expand upon Glickman’s upcoming slate of projects at Netflix, Amazon, MGM, Warner Media, Paramount and MRC, among others. The company’s first production, the Golden Globe nominated tv series Wednesday, recently surpassed over one billion hours viewed to become the second most watched show in Netflix’s history. The Tim Burton helmed series, based on Charles Addams’ beloved misanthrope, was recently renewed for a second season. Additional upcoming productions include Creed 3, directed and starring Michael B. Jordan; and The Underdoggs, a sports comedy starring Snoop Dogg due to be released October 20, 2023.
The new venture marks a return to independent production for Glickman after a successful eight year run as President of the MGM Motion Picture Group, where he guided a bankrupt company into a thriving studio with a full slate, two labels and theatrical distribution. During his tenure, Glickman oversaw production on Eon’s Skyfall and Spectre, the two highest grossing installments of the James Bond franchise, as well as the forthcoming No Time to Die, Daniel Craig’s final outing in the series. Other notable highlights of his tenure include overseeing the production of the Rocky spinoff Creed, and the sequel Creed 2, starring Sylvester Stallone and Michael B Jordan, as well as the 2019 animated hit recreation of The Addams Family. Notably, during Glickman’s term at MGM, he was ahead of the industry’s diversity hiring initiatives, with 24% of his slate featuring female filmmakers and 27% featuring directors of color, far exceeding the industry average.
Glickman began his career at Caravan Pictures, where he produced such hits as While You Were Sleeping, Grosse Pointe Blank and the global phenomenon Rush Hour franchise which brought Jackie Chan to the Western audience. He moved on to become the President of Spyglass Entertainment, producing such worldwide successes as Four Christmases, 27 Dresses, The Count of Monte Cristo and The Vow. Prior to founding Panoramic, Glickman produced Respect, the Aretha Franklin biopic starring Jennifer Hudson, and executive produced The Addams Family 2.
Outside of the studio, Glickman serves on the National Board of the Story Pirates. In 2014, Glickman started the Visiting Producer Series Endowment Fund in the Department of Screen Arts & Cultures at the University of Michigan.
Ryan Coogler is a writer/director and producer known for his inaugural feature film, FRUITVALE STATION which won the top audience and grand jury awards in the U.S. dramatic competition at the 2013 Sundance Film Festival. He has since co-written and directed the seventh film in the Rocky series, CREED, executive produced CREED II, and has returned to produce the upcoming CREED III, each starring Michael B. Jordan. Coogler also co-wrote and directed Marvel’s critically acclaimed BLACK PANTHER, which became the most successful domestic release of 2018. BLACK PANTHER, starring the late Chadwick Boseman, is the first and only Marvel film to have ever been nominated for Best Picture at the Academy Awards. Last year Coogler directed and co-wrote the highly anticipated and critically acclaimed sequel BLACK PANTHER: WAKANDA FOREVER. The film has made over $840M at the box office and received five Oscar nominations for Best Actress in a Supporting Role (Angela Bassett), Best Original Song, Visual Effects, Costume Design, and Makeup and Hairstyling, as well as a WGA nomination for Best Adapted Screenplay and a nomination for PGA’s coveted Darryl F. Zanuck Award. Bassett is the first woman, first person of color and the first Marvel Studios actor to be nominated for an Academy Award for a performance in a comic-book adaptation. Following its debut on Disney+, WAKANDA FOREVER became the most-watched Marvel film premiere on the platform globally.
Coogler co-wrote, along with Rihanna, Tems, and Ludwig Göransson, “Lift Me Up”, the Academy Award-nominated lead single from the WAKANDA FOREVER original soundtrack, executive produced by Coogler and Proximity Media and produced by Ludwig Göransson. In 2021, Coogler founded Proximity Media alongside Zinzi Coogler and Sev Ohanian, and co-founders Ludwig Göransson, Archie Davis, and Peter Nicks with a mission to create event-driven feature films, television, soundtracks, and podcasts that look to bring audiences closer together through stories involving often-overlooked subject matters. Proximity’s SPACE JAM: A NEW LEGACY, the 2021 sequel to the hit 1996 film, was released by Warner Bros. in theaters and on HBO Max. The film came in #1 at the U.S. box office, earning an estimated $32 million domestically during its opening weekend. In the same year, Coogler also executive produced Hulu’s HOMEROOM, directed by Proximity partner Peter Nicks, as the final chapter of Nicks' OAKLAND trilogy (following THE WAITING ROOM and THE FORCE). Proximity co-produced STEPHEN CURRY: UNDERRATED, a documentary about NBA superstar Steph Curry, with Apple Original Films, A24, and Unanimous Media which premiered at the 2023 Sundance Film Festival.
Zach Baylin is an Academy Award, BAFTA and WGA-nominated screenwriter and was named one of VARIETY’s 2021 “10 Screenwriters to Watch.”
Baylin penned the script for the Oscar Nominated KING RICHARD for Warner Bros. Studios, which debuted to rave reviews in 2021 and went on to receive six Oscar nominations, including Best Original Screenplay, Best Film and Best Actor, which Will Smith took home for his performance as Richard Williams.
Together with his wife, Kate Susman, Baylin co-founded Youngblood Pictures, a Film and Television Development Company dedicated to telling true stories about complex, unheralded characters. At Youngblood, Kate and Zach currently have a number of film and TV projects in development, including THE ORDER, a true crime heist thriller set in the dangerous American Militia movement of the 1980’s, with Justin Kurzel attached to direct, and a feature in the works that will re-team them with Star Thrower, the producers behind King Richard. The duo is also set to write and produce the limited series, BLACK RABBIT for Netflix, which will star and be executive produced by Jason Bateman and Jude Law.
Kramer Morgenthau is an award-winning cinematographer known for his expertise as a visual storyteller in both television and feature films. The six-time Emmy nominee has shot multiple projects including “Boardwalk Empire,” “Too Big to Fail” and “Game of Thrones” (for which he won an ASC Award). His upcoming projects include the feature "Creed 3,” for director/actor Michael B. Jordan. Morgenthau is known for his ability to navigate high-octane blockbusters and intimate dramas alike, including such films as “Creed II,” “Respect,” “Thor: The Dark World,” “Terminator Genisys”, “Chef,” “Fracture,” “American Son” and many more. Also a lover of music, he has shot videos for artists such as Post Malone and The Weeknd. Morgenthau’s career began as a documentary filmmaker in New York. He shot Oscar winner Allan Miller’s Academy Award-nominated film “Small Wonders” as well as Sundance entry “Joe & Joe,” which began Morgenthau’s tenure as a festival fixture. He would shoot seven more films that screened at Sundance. Initially, Morgenthau was artistically inspired by his family and unique childhood in Cambridge, Massachusetts. His father Henry was a producer of documentaries for the flagship PBS station WGBH in Boston and his mother Ruth was a Polish Jewish refugee of WWII Vienna, an African politics professor and a trusted advisor to three American presidents. It is through them that Morgenthau was first exposed to the importance and influence of film on culture, politics and art, through the family’s extensive travel and various documentary shoots around the globe. Morgenthau is an active member of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, the American Society of Cinematographers, the Academy of Television Arts and Sciences and the International Cinematographers Guild. He lives in Los Angeles with his wife and twins.
Jahmin Assa is a multiple Art Directors Guild-nominated and veteran Production Designer who has worked on large-scale franchises, acclaimed independent films as well as award-winning music videos and commercials.
Most recently, Assa worked on AXEL F, which marks the return of Eddie Murphy in the iconic Beverly Hills Cop franchise for Netflix and Bruckheimer Films and CREED III for MGM directed by Michael B. Jordan, releasing March 3, 2023.
Additional credits include Amazon’s DON’T WORRY HE WON’T GET FAR ON FOOT, directed by Palm d’Or Winner Gus Van Sant starring Joaquin Phoenix, Jonah Hill and Rooney Mara which debuted at Sundance in 2018; A24’s MID 90’s directed by Academy Award nominee Jonah Hill which debuted at the Toronto Film Festival in 2018; Amazon’s SEBERG directed by Benedict Andrews and starring Kristen Stewart which debuted at the Venice Film Festival in 2019; and Peacock/Universal’s ANGELYNE directed by Lucy Tcherniak starring Emmy Rossum.
A natural visual storyteller who loves to focus on the relationship between character and environment, Assa began his career as an assistant for David Lynch at Asymmetrical films in Los Angeles then served as a Production Assistant and Researcher for Michael Moore’s TV NATION (NBC).
Assa is a member of the Art Directors Guild. He was born and raised in Los Angeles where he lives with his wife, son and two daughters.
Jessica Baclesse got her start in features working for Gus Van Sant on his film Restless. She has worked at Marvel Studios on Loki, Falcon and Winter Soldier and Captain Marvel. Most recently, she edited Michael B. Jordan's directorial debut Creed III. Jessica received her MFA in Film from Columbia University and has edited short films shown at Slamdance, Los Angeles and Palm Springs International Film Festivals. Her commercial editing on Nike's You Can't Stop Us received an Emmy for Outstanding Commercial, a Cannes Grand Prix Lion and an AICP Award for Best Editing Montage.
Tyler Nelson found his way into the orbit of director David Fincher early in his career, working as first assistant editor on five titles before rising in the ranks to editor. He has edited feature films The Batman and the upcoming Creed III, as well as episodes of Mindhunter, Tales From The Loop, and Shadow and Bone. Additionally, he serves as co-director of the ACE Internship program and continues to mentor aspiring editors.
Composer Joseph Shirley recently scored season 3 of Disney+ The Mandalorian, which premieres March 1st; and the highly anticipated Michael B. Jordan directorial debut Creed III, which hits theaters March 3rd. Notable credits include Paul Feig’s Netflix feature film The School of Good and Evil; Disney+’s hit series The Book of Boba Fett, created by Jon Favreau; and Netflix’s Jackass Forever documentary, directed by Jeff Tremaine. His music can also be heard on Amazon Studios’s animated series Fairfax; Disney +’s The Mysterious Benedict Society, which he co-composed with Theodore Shapiro; and he has also co-written/co-produced the single "It's All Love" from DreamWorks Animation film Trolls 2: World Tour.