Spoilers for "Creed" follow!
Even if you've never seen "Rocky" in your life, you know all about the film's iconic training montages, especially the one that culminates with Rocky running up the 72 stone steps in front of the Philadelphia Museum of Art's entrance. The scene captivated audiences so much that the stairs are now commonly referred to as "the Rocky steps," and at the bottom of the steps there's even a statue of the boxer with his fists up.
Both the steps and the statue do make an appearance in "Creed," the latest movie in the "Rocky" franchise, but thankfully not as a part of Adonis Creed Johnson training. Instead, actor Michael B. Jordan gets his own brand-new sequence that not only updates the training montage trope for a modern audience, but cements his new role in Philly's history by having him team up with an oft-neglected subculture in the city -- the predominantly black street bike and ATV-riding community.
When MTV News talked to director Ryan Coogler at a recent press day for the film, he explained that including the bikers into Jordan's training sequence was a very deliberate choice.
"It was kind of inspired by the minor culture in Philadelphia right now, what's going on in black culture in Philly," Coogler said. "Folks our age who are familiar with the scene, we think about it in terms of a few things: it comes down to music, food, beer and bikes. The street bike thing is big in Washington D.C. and big in New York, and it's big on the West Coast where I'm from, but it's especially big on Philly."
The movie's take on the street bike scene is especially authentic because it features many real members of the community who live in Philadelphia.
"As soon as we got to town we had to find who the local guys were who could come out and do the stunts we needed them to do, and do them safely, and look and feel authentic," Coogler continued. "We eventually found them through casting and outreach, and seeing them around once we moved here.
"Once we had the right guys, the rest of it came together great. We had to find ways to film it creatively and get the locations right, so Mike wasn't running too much. We had a really great time."
"It's such a part of Philly that had never really been explored like that, and the way Ryan incorporated that [is] very elegant," Michael B. Jordan told us. "It seemed fresh and new, playing off of the iconic 'Rocky' run. I think it was a cool mesh of old school and new school."
Of course, there's one member of the cast who wasn't as enthused by the montage -- Tessa Thompson, who plays aspiring singer Bianca in the film and who didn't get to be in the training sessions.
"I was really bummed not to being in a training montage, definitely," Thompson joked. "I thought at least they could have me there there holding a pad or something!"
Of course, Bianca reps her own side of Philly too, as she performs at different smaller venues across the city, including the famed Electric Factory -- and if the movie gets a sequel, you can bet Thompson will be gunning for her own musical version of a training montage.
"If there's a 'Creed 2,' look for it, because I got it comin'," Thompson joked.
"Creed" is in theaters now.