Creed 3 Release Date Knocked Out Of 2022, Moves To Spring 2023

The third round of the "Creed" movies is taking a little bit longer to cool down before the judges ring that bell once again. "Creed III," the ninth film in the "Rocky" film franchise, has moved its release date from November 23, 2022 to its new spot on March 3, 2023. This is the first "Rocky" film without the presence of Sylvester Stallone, marking the official passing of the torch from Rocky Balboa to Adonis Creed, the son of Balboa's fiercest rival. 

The "Creed" films star Michael B. Jordan ("Black Panther," "Fruitvale Station") in the titular role, with "Creed III" also marking Jordan's feature directorial debut. Plot details on the film have not been made publicly available, but "Creed II" ended with Adonis Creed boxing Viktor Drago (Florian Munteanu) to a bloody pulp, and Ivan Drago (Dolph Lundgren) throwing in the towel on his son's behalf to put an end to a continued cycle of violence that started when Ivan killed Adonis' father back in "Rocky IV."

"Creed III" intends to follow the aftermath of the previous film, with returning cast members including Tessa Thompson as Adonis' girlfriend Bianca and Phylicia Rashad as his stepmother Mary Anne. Newcomers to the series include Jonathan Majors as Anderson Dame, the supposed new antagonist to Adonis. The announcement comes on the heels of the news regarding a spin-off film "Drago," but it's not been confirmed whether or not the move is related. Regardless, this schedule move puts "Creed III" up against "Dungeons & Dragons: Honor Among Thieves."

The Coogler Bros. no longer have to compete

Had "Creed III" not made the move, the film would have been released less than two weeks after "Black Panther: Wakanda Forever," which would have undoubtedly made a dent in its box office potential. Ryan Coogler, who directed the first "Creed" film, is at the helm of "Black Panther: Wakanda Forever," and is also serving as a producer. The script for "Creed III" comes from Keenan Coogler, brother of Ryan and screenwriter/producer of "Space Jam: A New Legacy." As cute as it would have been for the Coogler brothers to both have films out at the same time, it would have been a lot less cute if the release of the most anticipated film in Marvel's Phase Four obliterated the theatrical performance of "Creed III."

The move is ultimately a wise one, and while it will break the tradition of releasing a "Creed" film around the Thanksgiving holiday, it's a solid sign that MGM still believes in the success of "Creed III" by sticking with the planned theatrical release instead of pivoting to streaming. "Directing has always been an aspiration, but the timing had to be right," Michael B. Jordan said in a statement when "Creed III" was announced. Well, it looks like that right time will be a little bit later than originally planned.

With this new shift in the release schedule, "Creed III" will hit theaters on March 3, 2023.