“Adonis Johnson / Creed”
Actor Michael B. Jordan was born on February 9, 1987 in Santa Ana, California. Jordan’s middle name, “Bakari,” is Swahili for “noble promise”, and the boy grew up with constant comparisons to legendary basketball star of the same name, Michael Jordan.
Though he hadn’t planned on becoming an actor, the handsome Jordan did appear as a model for various companies before he ever took on his first roles in 1999 in episodes of Cosby and The Sopranos.
Interestingly, the Cosby series has some Rocky roots – the second actress to portray Apollo Creed’s wife in the Rocky series, Sylvia Meals, once guest-starred on The Cosby Show alongside Clair Huxtable herself, Phylicia Rashad. Rashad later picked up the Mary Anne Creed role in “Creed” alongside Michael B. Jordan.
Jordan enjoyed a series of small roles in various television programs including All My Children, Burn Notice, CSI: Crime Scene Investigation, Without a Trace and Cold Case. The young actor nabbed some movie roles, too, and was featured early on in “Hardball” starring Keanu Reeves. He later took a lead role in the independent movie “Blackout”.
In 2010 – five years before becoming fighter Adonis Creed – Jordan guest-starred in an episode of Law & Order: Criminal Intent in which he played a boxer involved in a dog fighting scandal.
Jordan’s huge film break struck in 2013 when he starred as shooting victim Oscar Grant in Ryan Coogler’s early masterpiece, Fruitvale Station. His performance in the hard hitting drama earned him critical praise, putting him on the Hollywood map as a star in the making.
When Ryan Coogler approached Sylvester Stallone with his screenplay about the son of Apollo Creed, Stallone was initially resistant. Upon viewing “Fruitvale Station”, Sly was sold on the powerful duo of Coogler as writer/director and Jordan as lead actor in what would be the seventh film in the Rocky franchise. Read more about the making of Creed.
MJB prepared for his role as a boxer by enduring eleven months of gruelling physical training and a stringent low-fat diet. Sylvester Stallone and Carl Weathers even remarked on Jordan’s incredible physique after his near-year of preparation for the “Creed” role. During the film’s fight scenes, Jordan never used a body double was “routinely bloodied, bruised and dizzy” when taking real hits from the real boxers cast opposite him.
Following the success of “Creed”, Jordan went on to collaborate with Coogler for a third time in “Wrong Answer”, based on the Atlanta Public Schools cheating scandal. The team will join forces yet again for Marvel’s “Black Panther” to be released in 2018.
Longtime Rocky series producer Irwin Winkler intimated in early 2016 that producers were making tentative plans for a Creed 2 movie sequel, however no official word has been handed down on this project.
(Last Updated: 8/2016)