Thousands of Everton fans are part of the supporting cast for the new Rocky film, Creed, which opens in the UK on Friday.
Filmmakers also shot scenes at St George’s Hall, Everton Brow and the Liver Buildings as Sylvester Stallone reprises his role of Rocky Balboa.
Everton FC appears throughout the movie as Creed’s nemesis, “Pretty Ricky Conlan” is played by lifelong Evertonian Tony Bellew. Bellew always wears the crest on his boxing shorts and reportedly made the appearance of his Club in the movie a “condition of his involvement.”
“The Club were really pleased to be invited to be part of Creed. We were keen to support our fellow Evertonians, Tony and Sylvester, and really excited at the opportunity to show off Everton and Goodison Park to the world,” said Everton’s director of marketing and communications, Richard Kenyon.
“Our fans really add to the atmosphere in the final fight scene – not only visually but also through the singing of Everton songs that can be heard before and during the fight. I’m sure being in Creed will create a sense of pride with Evertonians and also create some interest from those who may not previously have known too much about us. We’re seeing a huge rise in overseas supporters’ clubs, particularly in the USA, and I’m sure this will generate even more interest in Everton.”
However, the draw of Everton wasn’t enough to persuade the producers to film more of the Creed film in the UK. They instead used Philadelphia to stand in for Liverpool during some scenes. This was partly due to its 25% tax credits.
Last year, the Greater Philadelphia Film Office said it brought $85m into the local economy.
Already released in North America, the film has so far grossed over $106m.