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On Top of the World: Michael B. Jordan & Liya Kebede

The faces of Louis Vuitton and Coach, Liya Kebede and Michael B. Jordan, respectively, may be two of the most recognized in the world. For Louis Vuitton, Kebede hit the rues of Paris with her daughter and the Fall Winter 2022 Capucines handbag collection, while Jordan, alongside the likes of Jennifer Lopez, played in the snow for Coach’s winter advertising campaign.

The two stars first met back in 2015 during a shoot for Vogue, which was Jordan’s debut in the world of luxe brands and fashion. The Black Panther star was admittedly, back then, more of a jeans and tee-shirt guy. Since 2015, we’ve watched Jordan experiment with more appropriate attire for a star at his level.

Beyond acting, modeling and directing, Jordan is now part owner of the English soccer team AFC Bournemouth.

A statement from the Premier League club Tuesday morning announced that a deal had closed, finalizing its sale to a partnership led by American businessman Bill Foley and a minority ownership group led by Jordan. Foley is best known as the owner of the NHL franchise Vegas Golden Knights. However, this is Jordan’s first foray into professional sports ownership.

AFC Bournemouth has said Foley will assume the role of club Chairman with immediate effect, and he will work closely with Jordan and his business partner Nullah Sarker in areas including “global marketing and internationalization of the club.”

Jordan has also made his intentions to carve out a fresh path for the Creed franchise clear, and it looks like the upcoming third installment is set to take that to another level in 2023. The boxing saga is a spin-off of Sylvester Stallone’s globally hailed Rocky franchise and follows the story of Adonis “Donnie” Creed, the son of Rocky’s best friend Apollo Creed (Carl Weathers), who dies in a heartbreaking match during Rocky IV. The first two Creed films were a formal passing of the baton from Stallone to Jordan as Rocky tutors Donnie on his journey of exploration as he steps into his father’s legacy. In a new featurette for Creed III, Jordan hinted at a new chapter for his titular hero.

The behind-the-scenes video gave audiences a stunning insight into the makings of the upcoming film, which is set to be released in IMAX. “Creed 3 is not just your typical boxing movie,” Jordan explained. “We really wanted to take advantage of the emotional journey of the characters and put that into the ring and have it pay off in a physical way.” The Hollywood actor’s vision for bringing the pain outside of the ring into the forefront is very much reflected in the plot line for the movie.

As per the recent trailer, Donnie is at the top of his game as both a boxer and family man when his peace is disrupted by an appearance from his childhood friend Damian Andersen (Jonathan Majors). In a brief shot both men are shown as young children surrendering to the police whilst present-day Damian explains that he’s back after spending 18 years in prison. In a clear sense of obligation - or perhaps guilt - Donnie welcomes Damian into his gym only to find out he harbors a deep-rooted bitterness that his childhood “brother” was growing whilst he was behind bars. Damian’s anger sparks fury in Donnie which bleeds into an enmity that brings them face-to-face in the ring.

The upcoming boxing epic sees Jordan taking the directorial reigns from Creed II’s Steven Caple Jr. The featurette reveals a taste of the actor’s experience stepping behind the camera. This is highlighted during several shots that see Jordan going from shooting a fighting scene with his bloody eye to jumping behind the camera and critically reviewing footage. “I’ve been living with this character for eight years,” he explained. “We laughed, cheered, cried together. A core pillar of this franchise is figuring out you really are and what’s worth fighting for. In Creed 3, I wanted to know what Adonis’ limits were. So, to be able to finally step behind the camera and continue to elevate and evolve this story, is something I’m eternally grateful for.” Jordan went on to explain that as a storyteller he really pulled from his own “personal desires and goals to shortcomings, failures, mistakes” as part of the process.

In a powerful closing statement, Jordan revealed what he is optimistic audiences will be able to take away from the movie. “I hope audiences walk away feeling inspired and have the courage to do something that you normally wouldn’t do,” he said.


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