Adonis Creed may have found his next opponent in the big-screen ring. According to Deadline’s Mike Fleming Jr., producers for Creed III have zeroed in on Jonathan Majors to play the main adversary.
Majors’ star has been on the rise since his breakout role in 2019’s The Last Black Man in San Francisco (currently available for streaming on Amazon). In addition to his starring role in the HBO horror series Lovecraft Country, Majors also appeared in the films Jungleland and Da 5 Bloods last year.
Up next for Majors is the Netflix western The Harder They Fall, a revenge drama in which he’ll co-star with Idris Elba. He’s also set to play Kang the Conqueror, who could be the next major Marvel villain, in the upcoming Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quadrophenia.
As Deadline reports, Majors is “in talks” with MGM for the role in Creed III. While that doesn’t mean the actor is officially signed on, that Hollywood trade lingo indicates he’s agreed to be in the film and is now negotiating terms of the deal (including fitting Creed III into what’s become a busy schedule).
One curious aspect to Majors being cast as Adonis Creed’s next ring rival is that the opponents in the previous two Creed films have been real-life fighters.
Professional English boxer Tony Ballew played Ricky “Pretty Boy” Conlan in the first movie. And while Florian Munteanu has more of an acting background (he’ll appear in Marvel’s Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings later this year), he did compete as a professional fighter in Romania before taking the role of Viktor Drago in Creed II.
Majors doesn’t have any formal background as a boxer, studying to become an actor shortly after high school (and earning an M.F.A. from the Yale School of Drama). But with star Michael B. Jordan directing for the first time, it may be important for him to have a veteran actor in a key role rather than a fighter who’s a novice to acting.
Creed III is scheduled for a Nov. 23, 2022 theatrical release. In addition to Jordan returning, Tessa Thompson and Phylicia Rashad will reprise their roles as Creed’s wife and mother, respectively. What isn’t yet known is whether or not Sylvester Stallone will return as Rocky Balboa.