Before Adonis, there was Apollo...
Creed tells the story of Adonis Johnson (Michael B. Jordan), a young boxer taken under the wing of the famous Rocky Balboa (Sylvester Stallone). Adonis is a young upstart but it’s undeniable that boxing is in his blood, his father was the man who Rocky fought for his first big fight, Apollo Creed.
From rivals, to sparring partners, to good friends, the story of Rocky and Apollo is played out across the Rocky movies, and while Adonis never knew his father, Apollo’s presence is felt throughout the film that bears his name. In Adonis, Rocky sees the strength and determination that made Apollo such a great rival and friend. But who exactly was Apollo Creed?
He Collected Nicknames
While many boxers have built a name for themselves, Apollo Creed has built himself several. While Apollo Creed is probably the name you’ll remember from the movies, over the course of his career Apollo Creed has gone by many monikers. He’s been called “The Master of Disaster” and “The King of Sting”. He’s been knowns as “The Dancing Destroy”, “The Prince of Punch” and, our personal favourite “The Count of Monte Fisto”.
He Had Brains and Brawn
Apparently, the character of Apollo Creed was inspired by the famous real boxer, Muhammad Ali, and like Ali there is much more to Apollo Creed than the ability to throw a punch. As Creed’s director, Ryan Coogler says of Carl Weathers’ performance as Creed, “he played him with the same confidence that Ali had. I liked how intellectual, how in control of his own destiny that character was always shown to be.”
He Lived in the Lap of Luxury
Rocky certainly possesses the fighting spirit. He is known for always keeping on fighting no matter how hard he gets punched. He’s enjoyed the occasional moment in the sun, but Rocky Balboa was never going to be a boxing rock star.
Apollo Creed on the other hand had it all, and in Creed we see the kind of luxurious legacy he leaves Adonis. The Creed Mansion is nested in the middle of the Baldwin Hills area of L.A., a neighbourhood with a great deal of historic significance. Hannah Beachler, the film’s production designer explains, “Ray Charles lived there, a lot of African-American athletes live there. So, this is where Apollo Creed would’ve lived. Apollo was a larger-than-life character, and we needed to show that.”
He Was a Man of His Time
Indeed, the Creed Mansion tells you all you need to know about Apollo. Most of all, it tells you that Apollo was a man of his time, as Beachler points out, “We also needed it to feel as though he bought that house in the ‘80s, and it’s very much the same: marble and gold and light, lush and beautiful.” Later she says, “We dragged it into the 21st century, but the bones say nothin’ but 1983.”
The mansion shows the big difference between Apollo Creed and his best friend, Rocky Balboa, marking the distance between Apollo’s lifestyle and Rocky’s. Beachler adds, “Those two men were very close, but in the end, their lives were two completely different things.”