'Creed' star Michael B Jordan lends himself to 2K17
Michael B. Jordan scored with a breakthrough role in a football series and took a swing at movie stardom in a boxing flick.
The ''Creed'' star has transitioned to basketball for his latest - though virtual - role in the ''NBA 2K17'' video game. Jordan performs in the game's MyCAREER storyline in the latest edition of the hoops hit. Jordan stars as Justice Young, a rising NBA player that teams up with the user's MyPlayer. Justice acts as a friend and support system while navigating the realities of playing in the NBA, with emphasis on in-game choices that impact game and life outcomes.
''NBA 2K11'' and ''NBA 2K16'' are widely considered among the best basketball video games.
Jordan hoped another role in a continuation of a popular sports anthology would add this year's version to the list of best basketball games. Jordan had a roughly 700-page script for hours of voiceover recording and a line for every dunk, dish and dribble. He spent time at the 2K studios suited up in the latest in motion-capture technology to capture his likeness and movements.
''It's like a play,'' Jordan said. ''All the cameras capture you from wide angles. There is no coverage, really.''
Jordan is the latest Hollywood heavyweight to lend his heft to a video game role. Spike Lee directed last year's ''NBA 2K16'' MyCAREER experience, just one more example of how film and video game industries have merged to blur the lines of how fans consume media and entertainment.
Jordan said the enhanced storylines show there's more to video games these days than just a few lines.
''It's starting to widen out,'' he said. ''It's not as basic as it was before. You can create pieces of art and tell a story. These games incorporate great storytelling. People that are forward thinking and progressive can see it's cool instead of being stuck in their ways.''
The 29-year-old Jordan had supporting roles on TV shows like ''The Wire'' and ''Friday Night Lights,'' before he burst thought in the Sundance hit, ''Fruitvale Station.'' ''Creed'' made him a star and he's set to work with director Ryan Coogler for the third time in the 2018 film ''Black Panther.''
''It's a crazy year I've been having,'' he said.
He's also set to go one more round with Sylvester Stallone in another movie in the ''Rocky'' series.
''I believe there's going to be another one,'' Jordan said. ''I think everybody involved wants to see that story continue and see those characters evolve. I think we kind of have to do another one at some point.''
A basketball fan who has spent late nights and early morning shooting hoops, Jordan had a blast playing Justice Young.
But, yes, it wasn't lost on him that Michael Jordan was starring in a basketball video game. It wasn't always easy sharing a name with the most famous basketball player of all time.
''My dad didn't really realize what he was doing to me,'' Michael B. (for Bakari) Jordan said, laughing. ''Kids, they're ruthless. They're very honest. A small tease or a little joke here and there seemed like the end of the word to an 8 year old. As I grew up, I became more confident. It gave me a healthy chip.''
The NBA 2K17 standard edition is available in both digital and physical formats for $59.99 on Xbox One, Xbox 360, PS4 and PS3 computer entertainment systems, and Windows PC platforms on Sept. 20.