Creed III: Why The Series Should Wait At Least A Decade For Another Sequel

Michael B. Jordan as Adonis Creed in Creed III
(Image credit: MGM)

The following contains major spoilers for Creed III.

This weekend we see the debut of Creed III. It's Michael B. Jordan’s third time starring as Adonis Creed, and his first time in the director's chair, in what is technically the ninth entry in the complete Rocky franchise. I personally loved Creed III, and most critics loved it ,too. It's a solid movie that fans of the recent films are all but certain to enjoy. The movie certainly doesn’t close the door on following up with Creed IV in a couple of years, but the franchise may want to consider taking a significant break and waiting at least a decade before coming back.

This movie doesn't really need a sequel. It leaves the story in a pretty good place if this were to be the final film. Having said that, the movie does open the door to a potentially very exciting story to be told, one I would absolutely love to see. However, the main character of that story is a little young to get in a boxing ring right now, and making three more sequels between now and then just to get us there has the potential to kill the franchise before we make it. 

Michael B. Jordan and Jonathan Majors standing face to face in the ring in Creed III.

(Image credit: MGM)

Creed III Is A Satisfying Ending To Adonis’ Story

Creed III is a story about coming to terms with your past. Adonis does this in a very physical way when his former friend Damian (Jonathan Majors) comes to him after getting out of prison, looking to make it as a boxing champion. The two eventually come to blows themselves, with Creed coming out on top.

As with all of the best sports movies, though, the battle of athletics is a metaphor for a more personal struggle. Adonis experienced some difficult things in his past that he had never truly come to terms with before. Now he has seemingly defeated those demons, and he can move on and live a happy life with his family. That includes his young daughter Amara, who is showing more than a little interest in following in her father’s footsteps. 

Michael B. Jordan in Creed III

(Image credit: MGM)

Bringing Creed Out Of Retirement, Again And Again, Will Get Old Fast

Following an early flashback sequence, the film opens with what is set to be Adonis Creed’s retirement fight. He has to come out of retirement in order to take on his old friend Damian. And while the movie doesn’t specify that Adonis is just going to hang up the gloves again, that’s certainly the expectation. Although he is still a young man in absolute terms, he’s considered past his prime in the world of professional boxing and that’s not going to change.

Could a theoretical Creed IV contrive another reason to get Adonis out of retirement again? Of course it could. That’s what the Rocky franchise did with Rocky Balboa for every movie after Rocky III. He came out of retirement to fight Drago in Rocky IV. His retirement was the reason that Rocky V ended with a street fight rather than an actual boxing match (and that turned out so well). 

The best thing about Creed III is how little resemblance it has to a Rocky movie, even when compared to the other two Creed films. This corner of the franchise finally found a unique identity and it would be a shame if it then decided to emulate its parent franchise more by continually contriving ways to get Adonis back in the ring. If he’s retired, let him be retired.

Adonis and Amara training in Creed III

(Image credit: MGM)

A Creed Sequel With A New Star Has The Potential To Take The Story To New Places

Of course, just because Adonis Creed may be retired doesn’t mean that his story has to end. The new film sees him running the Delphi gym, which is still in the business of training champions. Adonis could certainly transition into more of a trainer/mentor role, just as Rocky Balboa did for him when the Creed movies started. But, he has one particular student who would be worth watching. 

Amara Creed, played excellently by Mila Davis-Kent, is already a student of her father's. She’s been watching his fights and learning from them. He’s taught her a few simple moves and she’s clearly receptive to it all. This is exciting as a potential place to take the story for so many reasons. First, it would enter the world of women’s boxing, which is something that rarely gets a chance to shine on the big screen. 

It also has a lot of potential for drama outside the ring. While Adonis and Amara would certainly have conflict as trainer and student, their relationship as father and daughter would, of course, be a big part of that. Now it’s not just a case of replicating the Rocky/Adonis relationship because there is blood involved, the dynamic is very different.

Of course, there is one pretty glaring problem with green-lighting a Creed sequel with his daughter Amara right now. She’s like 10 years old. You can’t exactly have a movie about kids boxing, so Creed IV will need to wait a little while.

You could certainly make the movie sooner and time jump the it forward and make everybody older with makeup, but that just wouldn’t have the same impact emotionally that it would have if we waited for the time to be right. The test of time is part of what made Creed work so well after the Rocky franchise was done, and the next film in this series deserves that same consideration. 

As a big fan of the Rocky and Creed movies, I’ll certainly watch Creed IV whether it comes out in three years, or 10 years. If it’s good, I’ll be happy. We can still get to this Amara Creed sequel in the future even if other movies are made in the meantime, but there is a risk. So far, the Creed franchise has been solid, all three films have been critical successes and the first two made plenty of money. But, it only takes one flop to end the series, and if that happens at the wrong time we could miss a chance at what could be a very exciting, and emotionally powerful, story. 

Dirk Libbey
Content Producer/Theme Park Beat

CinemaBlend’s resident theme park junkie and amateur Disney historian. Armchair Imagineer. Epcot Stan. Future Club 33 Member.