Why Creed III’s Michael B. Jordan Avoided Saying ‘Action’ Or ‘Cut’ On The Set

Creed III isn’t just Michael B. Jordan’s third time playing Adonis Creed, the son of Carl Weathers’ late character Apollo Creed from the original Rocky film series. It also marks Jordan’s directorial debut, with the actor following behind Creed’s Ryan Coogler and Creed II’s Steven Caple Jr. Creed III’s long-awaited release will give audiences their first indication of what kind of director Jordan is, but something interesting to know ahead of seeing the 2023 new movie release is why he avoided saying ‘action’ or ‘cut’ on the set.

CinemaBlend’s own Jeff McCobb spoke with Michael B. Jordan for the Creed III junket, and among the things he inquired about was how much shooting had Jordan done prior to officially saying ‘action’ for the first time on the Creed III set, i.e, had he made any short films to test shots, filmed whole scenes and cut them up to see how they’d look, etc. Jordan responded:

That’s a great question. I think I shot some references of some one-ers, but never with the words ‘action,’ you know what I’m saying? I didn’t say ‘action’ a lot even during the course of the movie. I think I mostly said ‘cut’ or I just motioned for ‘cut’ more than anything. So that was kind of my thing… To get a scene started, sometimes I would just let the cameras roll and we would just fall into it without the anxiety of waiting for ‘action.’ But to get out of something and not letting things linger as long, I would just motion a low little scissor to my first AD, and we kind of built a system that once he saw the scissors, he knew that’s when I wanted to cut, and then we would get out of it.

Every director has their own style with filmmaking, and for Michael B. Jordan, he decided he wasn’t going to say ‘action’ or ‘cut’ nearly as often as other directors do. With the ‘action’ aspect, he was just comfortable letting the cameras roll and having himself and the other actors get into the performing groove on their own without actually commanding for things to start. With the ‘cut’ aspect, he and his first assistant director formed that system where all he had to do was a simple motion to indicate stopping the cameras. Assuming Jordan continues directing Creed III, I’ll be interested to learn if he sets up the same kind of dynamic with his other first ADs.

Creed III

Michael B. Jordan as Adonis Creed in Creed III

(Image credit: MGM)

Director: Michael B. Jordan
Writer: Keenan Coogler and Zack Baylin
Cast: Michael B. Jordan, Jonathan Majors, Tessa Thompson, Wood Harris, Florian Munteanu, Phylicia Rasha and Mila Davis-Kent

Back in July 2021, Michael B. Jordan explained that he wanted Creed III to be his directorial debut because he knows this “world” so well, so he saw this as a prime opportunity to put his “love” of collaboration to good use. Cut to this past January, Jordan called directing Creed III the “hardest thing” he’s ever done, and he more recently shared how “frustrating” it was directing scenes while he was wearing a mouthguard for the boxing sequences, though he fortunately learned a “cheat code” for this from Bradley Cooper and Jon Favreau. Creed III will see Adonis throwing punches in the ring with Damian Anderson, his former friend who’s being played by a ripped Jonathan Majors.

The good news is that Creed III has been met with a lot of positive reviews, including CinemaBlend giving it 4 out of 5 stars. You can see how the movie turned out for yourself this weekend in theaters, but if you’re interested in rewatching the first two Creed movies before the threequel, those can be streamed with an HBO Max subscription.

Adam Holmes
Senior Content Producer

Connoisseur of Marvel, DC, Star Wars, John Wick, MonsterVerse and Doctor Who lore, Adam is a Senior Content Producer at CinemaBlend. He started working for the site back in late 2014 writing exclusively comic book movie and TV-related articles, and along with branching out into other genres, he also made the jump to editing. Along with his writing and editing duties, as well as interviewing creative talent from time to time, he also oversees the assignment of movie-related features. He graduated from the University of Oregon with a degree in Journalism, and he’s been sourced numerous times on Wikipedia. He's aware he looks like Harry Potter and Clark Kent.