After delivering an Oscar nominated performance in Creed, Rocky himself (Sylvester Stallone) will stand in the director’s corner for the follow-up. The announcement came via his Instagram account, as the film begins pre-production.
Creed came as a surprise to many. A film linked to a dying franchise, with a relatively obscure director and an actor coming off a box office bomb, many would be forgiven for thinking the film might not pack a punch (pun very much intended). But Creed defied expectations and pumped life into a franchise that no longer seemed relevant. It landed its director, Ryan Coogler, a Marvel movie and confirmed Michael B. Jordan’s star status.
Whilst many would have liked to see Coogler return to the director’s chair, the prospect of Stallone returning to direct the franchise he created is a tantalising one. This return to old ways also bleeds through to the sequel’s plot with Dolph Lungren’s Ivan Drago also returning. Jordan will be back too as the titular Adonis Creed with rumours claiming that he may face off against Drago’s son this time round. An intriguing idea given that Drago was the man responsible for Adonis’ father’s (Apollo) death way back in Rocky IV.
The last time Stallone stepped behind the camera to direct was for 2010’s The Expendables, which, although critically panned, was popular with audiences and birthed a franchise. And whilst Stallone’s directing style may not suit the tone that Creed laid out – a gritty human-based drama about identity and legacy – as a seasoned pro of the industry the hope is that he’ll be wise to what made Creed such a success and helped usher the franchise into the 21st Century. There is no word on who will be on writing duties for this one but they’ll have a tough job on their hands to match the quality of the first film.
Whilst plot details and further casting news is yet to be confirmed, the idea of Jordan returning to a role he owned despite the daunting shadow of Stallone’s Rocky looming over him is exciting. The actor has since become one of the most sought after talents in Hollywood and will continue to demonstrate this when he appears in Coogler’s Black Panther next year. Stallone also recently did some work for Marvel in Guardian’s of the Galaxy Vol. 2 and will next be seen in Escape Plan 2: Hades, out next year.
Creed 2 will begin filming in 2018.