It took Ryan Coogler two years to convince Sylvester Stallone to make Creed
With 2015 in the rear-view, I think it's safe to say that Ryan Coogler's CREED has emerged as one of the years best; it even popped up on a few of of the JoBlo team's 2015 top ten lists. The Rocky franchise went out on a high with 2006's ROCKY BALBOA and if it weren't for Ryan Coogler's persistence, that would have been the end of it; thankfully, CREED lived up to its predecessors. While chatting with Deadline, Sylvester Stallone said that he saw ROCKY BALBOA as such a wonderful send-off for the character that he resisted Ryan Coogler's attempts to craft sequel/spin-off for two years.
It took him about two years to convince me. I had been very, very grateful the way last chapter of Rocky Balboa wrapped up his story in a satisfactory way for the audience. When Rocky waves goodbye, that was a goodbye to the audience and a thank you. I just thought, “Finally,” and thought it was a wonderful send-off. Rocky stayed dormant for six or seven years, and then this fellow comes in, and says, “Oh, can we dig him up?” I go, “No, no, no, no.” Then he proceeded to tell me this story. My first reaction was it was disconcerting. It shows Rocky outside the ring, fighting the fight that he really can’t win. It’s a fight against the greatest opponent in the world; life. I said, “No, kid, I think we’re tampering with something here we should leave alone."<
Thankfully for Ryan Coogler, and us, the young writer/director didn't give up and, upon completing FRUITVALE STATION, returned to pester Stallone.
So he goes away and does Fruitvale Station. Wins all these awards, and he’s offered multiple job opportunities and he keeps coming back to Creed. I see this and say, this fellow here obviously is functioning on a different kind of energy. It is heartfelt, not monetary, not ego. It’s as though he has to finish a mission, which was a love letter to his father who had been very, very ill and that stimulated the idea. There was just something about this kid, who was very, very physical in his manner, but sensitive and emotional. It kind of reminded me…of me, truth be told. So I finally said, “You know what? Someone took a chance on me, once. I’m just going to throw caution to the wind and let him run with it.”
CREED is still playing in theaters, go check it out if you haven't already!
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