'Fruitvale Station' Has Led to a 'Rocky' Spinoff

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Ryan Coogler and Michael B. Jordan, the director and star of the small Sundance hit Fruitvale Station, have a surprising next move: Deadline's Mike Fleming Jr. reports that MGM is making arrangements for Coogler to direct and co-write a Rocky spinoff called Creed and the studio is talking with Jordan to star as Apollo Creed's grandson. 

Before you start rolling your eyes, Fleming has some explanation of why this is a good thing, despite reviving a franchise (which now has a musical) that some might feel is just over the hill. Apparently, this is a passion project of Coogler's. "When he signed with WME, Coogler identified Creed as a dream project," Fleming writes. "While Coogler already had the relationship with Jordan, the agency put him together with Stallone. Stallone, who is right now heavily involved in a stage musical transfer of his original Oscar-winning 1976 film Rocky, loved the idea and felt it was strong enough for him to bring back his signature screen character." 

Stallone is also planning on stepping into Rocky's hoodie again for the film, which would tell the story of Creed's grandson who turns to Stallone's Rocky. If you need a refresher: remember that Creed was Rocky's original foe in the ring in the first movie, eventually became his friend, and dies in the fourth Rocky film. In this reboot, Creed's grandson will have grown up in a life of privilege because of his grandfather's success. 

So, while it seems like an odd choice for Coogler to leave behind the world of socially conscious indie films with Oscar buzz for yet another entry into a mainstream franchise—though let's not forget Rocky had major awards glory—all signs point to this being something that has a ton of potential.

This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.