This Thanksgiving, another addition to the "Rocky" franchise, "Creed," is coming to theaters nationwide. But this time the story will revolve around Adonis Johnson (Michael B. Jordan), the son of Rocky's fallen friend and champion fighter Apollo Creed, as he struggles to gain legitimacy as a boxer in his own right.
While "Creed" is very much a spiritual successor to "Rocky," it feels like it speaks to a more diverse, modern audience that the 1976 original did -- in no small part because it focuses on a black protagonist, which is still an unfortunate rarity in big blockbuster movies.
At a recent press junket for the film, Michael B. Jordan, Tessa Thompson and director Ryan Coogler spoke to MTV News about how "Creed" might fit into the ongoing discussion about how race, which their recent other films -- "Fruitvale Station," "Selma" and "Dear White People," for example -- have certainly had a hand in shaping.
Coogler, who directed Jordan in "Fruitvale Station," told MTV News that while he believes the movie is about more than race, it's definitely something that people will be talking about when they leave the theater. "With Adonis being black, 'Creed' naturally has a place in that conversation," he admitted. "That said, it's a movie for everybody. It's a movie with elements of everything."
"Ryan did an incredible job creating the story around two people, around a guy that's trying to figure out who he is, who doesn't have a dad, who happens to be the most famous fighter in the world," Jordan said, echoing Coogler's thoughts. "How do you get out of that shadow, how do you find your own destiny and who do you rely on to get you there?"
"I think for me, I really like the idea of making work that reflects the time we live in and has something to say about those times," Thompson said. "This movie, 'Creed,' really feels like it's of the now. Even the relationship between Adonis and Bianca feels like what Milennial love looks like. When I look at my friends and I see the way their relationships are, they mirror some of the things Bianca and Adonis go through.
"It's a new world where where diversity is something that's really important, and inclusion is something that's really important," she added. "Without trying to be overly political, I think there is a political statement in the fact that we made this 'Rocky' movie, and I'm not mad at that."
"Creed" hits theaters (literally) November 25.