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Creed, as previously confirmed, is a very good entry in the now reinvigorated Rocky series. In addition to a career-best turn from Tessa Thompson, the film's interplay between Sylvester Stallone and Michael B. Jordan marks some of the finest moments in the franchise's history. To craft a film that's as widely well-received as Creed, director Ryan Coogler and company had to maintain a hyper-realistic atmosphere as a breeding ground for crowd-pleasing moments of graceful boxing.
In fact, Michael B. Jordan apparently went all the way there by actually getting clocked in the face in the name of art:
Guts indeed, Sly. Speaking with Bill Simmons earlier this year in a podcast interview, Jordan detailed the on-set process that ultimately resulted in real punches. "The first couple times we tried to do [punches], we tried to do it with the slips," Jordan told Simmons, referring to the art of faking it. "It's slow motion, so you can see the misses [and] the space between the punches." Legally speaking, Coogler couldn't actually ask his actors to take punches. Sly, however, was apparently more than ready to offer just enough peer pressure to get Jordan in the "Hey, will you actually punch me?" frame of mind.
Thankfully, a Creed sequel that may or may not also include some actual punches already seems like a very strong possibility.