While we've all been in a tizzy over Ryan Coogler's upcoming "Black Panther" since the first trailer dropped last month, and the recent announcement that he's reuniting with Michael B. Jordan on a drama titled "Wrong Answer," to be scripted by Ta-Nehisi Coates, with Brad Pitt's Plan B producing, we may have forgotten that a sequel to "Creed" is also coming. Our last update on this was in January of 2016, when MGM CEO Gary Barber revealed in a Variety interview: “There’s no doubt that we’re making a ‘Creed 2’.”
Although the question at the time, and one that still remains unanswered is whether Coogler, who directed "Creed," will also direct "Creed 2" since he's been tied up with "Black Panther," and will continue to be through early next year, with the aforementioned "Wrong Answer" possibly becoming what he tackles next.
“I know Ryan is probably going to be gone for a couple years,” said Stallone in January 2016, adding, “So there will be a quandary on: Do we work with another director and have Ryan produce, or do we wait? There’s a diminishing time acceptance of a sequel. Now they are cranking them out in a year.”
As for what the story will be, Stallone shared, "One version of the story would take place in the past... bringing back Carl Weathers to play Apollo Creed," who died in 1985’s "Rocky IV" at the hands of Ivan Drago of the former Soviet Union, portrayed by Dolph Lundgren.
Stallone said at the time that he "recently bumped into" Carl Weathers and he was impressed that he was still in "good shape."
Another potential story for "Creed 2" shared in the same 2016 interview: "... a linear story with Apollo’s son Adonis (Michael B. Jordan) taking on another challenger."
Stallone explained: “You’ll have him face a different opponent, which I would say is a more ferocious, big Russian... You can start to meld my experiences and then you start to bring different cultures into it. And you can see what’s happening with the Russians today in America. The complication will come with the girl’s ambition, because she’s not Adrian. She has places to go, things to see, the clock is running on her hearing.”
"The girl" he's referring to is Tessa Thompson's Bianca, who Shannon Houston wrote about wonderfully (here) as a potential star of any "Creed" sequel.
“Ryan has some ideas of going forward and backward and actually seeing Rocky and Apollo together,” Stallone said, adding, “Think of ‘The Godfather 2.’ That’s what he was thinking of, which was kind of ambitious.”
Skip ahead to this past weekend, to Stallone's Instagram account, where he appears to be hinting at other story possibilities for "Creed 2." To wit...
As I said previously, in "Rocky IV," Drago (Lundgren) kills Apollo Creed (Weathers) in the ring, essentially leaving Adonis (Michael B. Jordan) without a father. So what Stallone might be hinting at in his above post is that, for "Creed 2," Adonis (Jordan) may avenge his father's death in the ring somehow. He certainly wouldn't be fighting Drago (or could he?); so is it possible that Drago also has a son who's a boxer like his father?
Stallone already hinted at a Russian connection in the Variety interview last year, when he said: "You’ll have him face a different opponent, which I would say is a more ferocious, big Russian... You can start to meld my experiences and then you start to bring different cultures into it. And you can see what’s happening with the Russians today in America."
It would obviously be timely given that we seem to be ushering in another Cold War with Russia, if we aren't already in one, if you believe the US election interference allegations against Russia, and the push for Trump to retaliate in some way. In our current climate, American audiences will probably relish watching an American (Adonis Creed) knock out some representation of Russian power in the context of a boxing movie.
Stallone shared more Instagram posts with the hashtag #Creed2, all including remembrances of Drago and/or Apollo in "Rocky IV." Here are 2 more. We'll be watching this space closely, because it just might mean that an announcement on "Creed 2" is coming soon...