Watch ‘Creed’ Director Ryan Coogler Break Down That Incredible Single-Take Fight Scene
Creed isn’t just a surprisingly great contemporary sequel to a classic franchise — it’s also one of the very best films of the year, with director Ryan Coogler proving why indie directors should be given a shot on bigger studio films. Coogler delivers a sequel that honors its past and paves the way for a potential future, with poignant character drama and some truly inspirational sequences. But there’s one knock out scene in particular that’s had people talking, and now you can see how Coogler pulled it off.
The New York Times’ latest Anatomy of a Scene video feature has Coogler breaking down the match between Michael B. Jordan’s Adonis Creed and Leo Spirino (played by real-life boxer Gabe Rosado). Coogler made the decision to film the riveting sequence in one long take about “three weeks out from production,” and it took them 13 tries to nail it — which sounds like Jordan and Rosado got a real workout:
I worked with a great stunt coordinator named Clayton Barber and a great cinematographer, Maryse Alberti, and a great Steadicam operator, Ben Semanoff. It was a conversation between all of us. I had a crew that was as crazy as me and an actor as crazy as me. So as opposed to getting scared at this idea, everybody got excited. We shot it the third day of photography. We had one camera on set and didn’t shoot anything to cut away to. We just dove off the cliff and said, hey, we’re going to do this. We did 13 takes of it.