Sylvester Stallone is set to play Rocky Balboa for the seventh time in a forthcoming spin-off film called Creed.
The spin-off will focus on the grandson of Apollo Creed, Balboa’s friend and longtime boxing rival played by Carl Weathers, who was killed in the ring in Rocky VI. The Wire‘s Michael B Jordan is “in early talks” to star as the grandson, Deadline reports, and Stallone will reprise his role as Balboa, now a retired fighter-turned-trainer.
Creed’s grandson will apparently be portrayed as a young man who enjoyed a privileged upbringing thanks to his grandfather’s boxing winnings. Though he has no financial incentive to follow Apollo into the ring, he is blessed with the natural talent to become a heavyweight champion and turns to Balboa for mentorship.
Creed will be co-written and directed by Ryan Coogler, whose debut movie Fruitvale Station – which also stars Michael B Jordan – won the Grand Jury Prize at this year’s Sundance Film Festival. Stallone is said to “love” the premise of the spin-off movie and will serve as a producer as well as appearing on screen.
Stallone last played Balboa in 2006’s Rocky Balboa, which revived the iconic franchise after a 16-year break. The actor is currently overseeing the transfer of the Rocky stage musical from Hamburg, Germany, where it debuted last November (2012), to Broadway, where it’s due to open early next year (2014).