When Michael B. Jordan landed the lead role of young boxer Adonis “Donnie” Creed in Ryan Coogler’s 2015 spin-off sequel Creed, neither he nor audiences could have predicted just how profoundly the film would impact the trajectory of his acting career. In the 10 grueling months of intensive physical transformation, technical boxing training, and emotional character development that preceded filming, Jordan fully committed himself to embodying the legacy of this beloved cinematic icon. His diligent efforts paid remarkable dividends, as Jordan’s compelling performance earned widespread critical acclaim, packed theatres, and propelled the young talent to the very upper echelon of Hollywood stardom almost overnight. Now with over half a billion dollars grossed by the franchise globally and a third installment slated for March 2023 with Jordan in the director’s chair, Creed continues redefining MJB’s career years later due to one indelible, star-making role that still resonates profoundly with audiences today.
Undergoing a Rigorous Physical Metamorphosis
Jordan devoted himself fully to embodying the physicality of a professional fighter. He embarked on an intense physical transformation over 10 grueling months leading up to filming. In discussing his preparation for the intensely physical demands of the film, Jordan made clear that “there were no shortcuts” taken on the path to convincingly portraying the boxing prowess and athletic physique characteristic of Creed. He subjected himself to a daily routine straight out of a professional fighter’s training camp: technical boxing skills development alongside world champion fighters, advanced weight lifting and plyometric sessions, explosive cardiovascular conditioning, and more. Jordan also adopted a tightly regimented diet plan supplying his body with sufficient protein and nutrients to pack on a staggering 20 pounds of lean muscle mass.
This process involved:
Strength and Conditioning Regimen
Jordan trained for up to 6 hours per day, 6 days a week alongside world champion boxers and elite fitness experts. His exhaustive daily routines included:
- Technical boxing and mitt work
- High intensity weight lifting focusing on compound movements
- Explosive plyometric drills to enhance fast-twitch muscle power
- Ab and core exercises for a shredded, muscular physique
- Jogging, jump roping, and calisthenics to build unmatched cardio endurance
Strict Nutritional Discipline
Jordan also adhered to a stringent, tailored diet plan supplying his body with sufficient protein and nutrients to facilitate muscle growth and effective recovery. He consumed small, frequent meals every 2-3 hours consisting of:
- Grilled chicken and lean meats
- Brown rice, vegetables, and complex carbohydrates
- Healthy fats from nuts, seeds, eggs, and fish
- Fruits, green smoothies, and vegetable juices
This nutritional discipline combined with his relentless work ethic enabled Jordan to gain a solid 20 pounds of rock-hard muscle.
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The Result: A Sculpted Physique of a Lightweight Boxer Exuding Power and Agility
Through this dramatic physical metamorphosis, the 6’1” Jordan wholly transformed into the spitting image of a world champion boxer – 170 chiseled pounds of athleticism exuding exceptional strength, blistering hand speed, nimble footwork, and almost superhuman endurance befitting his larger-than-life character. Jordan’s commitment here cannot be understated, as his authentic fighter physique and evident physicality in the film’s electrifying matchups are truly the foundations on which his moving performance was built.
Delving into the Emotional Depth of Adonis Creed
While the physical demands were immense, Jordan devoted equal focus to capturing the deeper emotional essence of Adonis Creed. He connected intensely with the character’s inner turmoil and psychological journey from underestimated underdog to championship contender.
The Burden of Legacy
As Apollo Creed’s hidden son, Adonis struggles to establish his own identity separate from his late father’s formidable shadow. Jordan aimed to compellingly convey Adonis’ underlying sense of anger and confusion over his origins and namesake.
In his personal affairs, Adonis grapples with opening himself up to love and connection with Bianca while intensely pursuing his pugilistic ambitions. Jordan tapped into this duality, vividly portraying Adonis’s conflicting priorities.
Channeling His Father’s Spirit
In breathtaking fight scenes, Jordan aimed to organically incorporate Apollo Creed’s distinctive flair and style into Adonis’s skills and instincts. This demonstrated Adonis gradually embracing his father’s fighting DNA internally while still chasing individual greatness.
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Creed II: Adonis Confronts His Father’s Killer
On the wings of Creed’s smash success, MGM studios swiftly greenlit a sequel, allowing Jordan to further develop his character. In Creed II, Adonis meets his greatest challenge yet, squaring off against Viktor Drago – the son of Ivan Drago who infamously killed Adonis’ father Apollo Creed in the ring 33 years earlier. The emotional weight Jordan carries in this role intensifies, with memories and traumas of the past fueling Adonis forward in an epic showdown.
A Vulnerable Portrayal Marries Jordan’s Physicality and Emotion
While Jordan doubles down on the hulking physicality and lethal boxing skills necessary for Adonis to compete with the imposing, dangerous Drago, it is his masterful blending of emotional vulnerability that elevates this complex, heavily layered performance. During pivotal moments, Jordan allows the camera uncomfortably close, enabling his facial expressions to expose the scars of Adonis’ tortured past that ache with each crushing blow from his father’s murderer. In Creed II, Jordan manifests the psychological anguish feeding Adonis’ relentless quest for redemption, culminating in raw, cathartic moments that left critics universally awestruck.
Rave Reviews and Awards Recognition
Jordan’s tireless physical preparation and raw emotional performance earned widespread critical acclaim for Creed. His mesmerizing portrayal of Adonis Creed received nominations and awards from:
- Academy Awards
- Golden Globe Awards
- Screen Actors Guild Awards
- Broadcast Film Critics Association
- NAACP Image Awards
These honors recognize Jordan’s breakout talent, cementing his status as one of Hollywood’s rising superstars. Almost overnight, his name recognition and celebrity soared exponentially thanks to this career-defining role.
What Critics and Fans Are Saying About Creed
On the impact of Jordan’s mesmerizing portrayal of Adonis Creed, both fans and revered critics alike have showered immense praise. Esteemed Rotten Tomatoes critic Robert Daniels effused that “Jordan gives such an affecting, star-making performance that cements his status as arguably the best actor of his generation.” Box office numbers emphatically supported this sentiment, with crowds turning up in droves, propelling Creed’s worldwide gross over $173 million.
General audience reviewers on platforms like Google and IMDb have equally lauded Jordan’s authenticity and conviction in the role, with one particularly endeared fan raving “Michael B. Jordan IS Adonis Creed. Every emotion, setback, triumph, loss, and comeback in the ring—he made me feel it all deeply. His performance was simply flawless and demands all the awards.” Based on public reception and critical analysis, Michael B. Jordan’s Adonis Creed clearly echoes the hallmarks of an iconic, incendiary film portrayal destined to linger long his career has concluded.
Box Office Dominance Cemented Jordan’s Leading Man Status
In addition to critical praise, Creed flourished commercially, grossing an impressive $173 million globally against a modest $37 million budget. This smash hit success affirmed Jordan’s lucrative box office appeal as a magnetic, bankable leading man able to carry the weight of a major studio franchise.
On the strength of Creed’s dominance, Jordan rapidly ascended to A-list fame, landing high-profile lead roles in Black Panther, Without Remorse and A Journal for Jordan cementing his graduation to Hollywood’s top echelon.
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Reprising the Role in Future Creed Instalments
Given Creed’s runaway success, MGM Studios quickly greenlit sequels, with Jordan remaining integrally involved, reprising his career-igniting role as Adonis. In Creed II, Adonis faces off against Viktor Drago, the son of Ivan Drago, who killed his father Apollo in the ring over 30 years earlier.
Jordan’s Vision for Adonis in Creed III
Now in Creed III, Jordan makes his directorial debut while starring once again as Adonis, this time facing off against former childhood friend Anderson Dame (Jonathan Majors). Speaking on his vision for Adonis in Creed III, Jordan shares:
“I saw this as an opportunity to really grow with the character. Where we find Adonis in this film is in a dark place…a lot of things are happening internally that he hasn’t come to grips with.”
This suggests Creed III will explore darker emotional depths to the Adonis character.
Full Circle Moment
With Creed III slated for theatrical release in March 2023, Jordan ascends to an entirely new challenge, this time stepping behind the camera in his directorial debut while reprising his career-launching role as Adonis. With this directorial debut, Jordan comes full circle on this franchise that skyrocketed his acting career years earlier. Now steering the creative direction of this beloved character, he takes the reins in shepherding the enduring legacy of the Creed films into the future.
Michael B. Jordan Comes Full Circle with Creed III
In helming this 3rd Creed installment, Jordan taps into breakthrough opportunities:
- Guiding the creative trajectory of a character intrinsically tied to his career rise
- Expanding his creative talents by directing his first major studio film
- Rewarding diehard fans with his continued on-screen portrayal of the beloved Adonis Creed
Years removed from his explosive breakout performance in Creed, the maturation of Jordan’s career comes full circle as he vaults into the director’s chair for the next chapter in Adonis Creed’s cinematic legacy.
When asked about the significance of directing this franchise so pivotal to his professional rise, Jordan stated:
“Directing Creed III is a full circle moment for me. This franchise and specifically the character of Adonis Creed afforded me opportunities that created my career trajectory into today. Returning to helm this third chapter is my chance to usher the Creed storytelling legacy into a new frontier while continuing to develop the character that will forever live with me.”
If Jordan’s evident passion is any indicator, expect Creed III to deliver all the riveting emotional layers and striking visual set pieces befitting the crowning culmination of a saga eight years in the making. Under Jordan’s assured direction guiding the creative vision, familiar characters and new stakes will undoubtedly make Creed III’s release an early 2023 cinematic event not to be missed.
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Creed Franchise Leaves Indelible Mark on Jordan’s Historic Career
In the years since Creed exploded onto cinema screens, catapulting Michael B. Jordan to superstardom in the process, the towering magnitude of the breakout role’s impact on the decorated actor’s career cannot be overstated. Still in his youth with copious prime years ahead, Jordan finds himself an acclaimed multi-hyphenate – a producer and now director realizing his creative voice beyond compelling dramatic turns consistently decorated by the industry’s highest honors.
Simply put, there is no version of Michael B. Jordan, A-list creative force and Hollywood trailblazer that exists today without the Creed franchise and specifically his penetrating portrayal of Adonis Creed – the fighter who against all odds inspires the world thanks to Jordan’s chameleonic commitment to manifesting the layers and complexities of an icon initially brought to life by Hollywood royalty in Sylvester Stallone over 40 years ago. Much has changed since 1976, but the courageous, uncompromising spirit embodied in Adonis Creed thanks to Michael B. Jordan’s virtuosity in the role will doubtlessly continue unleashing goosebump-inducing spectacle and emotionally arresting storytelling for years to come.
Frequently Asked Questions
1. Who plays Adonis Creed in the Creed movies?
Michael B. Jordan plays Adonis “Donnie” Johnson Creed in both Creed films, including the upcoming Creed III where he is also making his directorial debut.
2. How did Michael B. Jordan transform for Creed?
Jordan gained nearly 20 pounds of muscle through a rigorous 10-month training routine involving strength conditioning, boxing training, cardio exercise, and a lean protein diet under professional supervision.
3. What awards did Michael B. Jordan receive for Creed?
Jordan received multiple Best Actor award nominations and wins for his performance in Creed from the Academy Awards, Golden Globes, Screen Actors Guild Awards, and NAACP Image Awards among others.
4. How much did Creed make at the box office?
Creed was a major commercial success earning over $173 million globally against a modest $35 million budget, affirming Jordan’s lucrative box office appeal.
5. Why does Adonis Creed fight Viktor Drago in Creed II?
Viktor Drago is the son of Ivan Drago who killed Adonis’s father Apollo Creed in the ring over 30 years earlier, creating an emotional and physical challenge driven by the past.
6. How was Creed received by audiences and critics?
Creed earned rave reviews from critics and fervent praise from general audiences who connected deeply with Jordan’s compelling, emotionally resonant portrayal of Adonis Creed.
7. What has Michael B. Jordan said about directing Creed III?
Jordan said directing Creed III “is a full circle moment for me. This franchise and specifically the character of Adonis Creed afforded me opportunities that created my career.”
8. How did Creed impact Michael B. Jordan’s career?
Creed catapulted Jordan to global superstardom as a leading man, earned him critical acclaim, expanded his creative pursuits into directing, and indelibly linked his name with the success of an iconic billion dollar film franchise.
9. Will Michael B. Jordan star in and direct Creed IV?
While future installments have not been confirmed, if Creed III meets commercial expectations it’s reasonable to assume Jordan would return as both star and director for a potential Creed IV down the line.
10. Has Adonis Creed ever lost a boxing match?
Yes, in Creed II, Viktor Drago defeats Adonis Creed by TKO in their first matchup, setting the stage for an epic rematch where Creed exacts revenge and regains his title.