Adonis Creed returns to the ring in Creed II on November 21. The sequel continues the Rocky spin-off series with a more personal opponent for its hero — and what we’re sure will be some more amazing training montages.
Here’s what you need to know about Creed II:
Creed director Ryan Coogler, who went on to helm the Marvel blockbuster Black Panther, isn’t heading up the production this time. In his place is Steven Caple, Jr. His work includes the critically acclaimed film The Land, which follows four Cleveland teens who get caught up in a car heist.
Writing duties on Creed II fall to co-star Sylvester Stallone and Juel Taylor. Stallone has scripted six of the previous seven installments in the franchise, so he knows his way around the series.
Michael B. Jordan returns as Adonis Creed, the son of legendary boxer Apollo Creed. Stallone will once again play Rocky Balboa, Adonis’ trainer and mentor, who has some special insight into his dangerous new opponent. Tessa Thompson is also back as Bianca Porter, Adonis’ girlfriend, the mother of his child who has her own struggles to deal with.
Rocky fans will also be hyped to see Dolph Lundgren return to the series as Ivan Drago. He was the villain of Rocky IV; a giant, dangerous, Russian fighter who has raised his own son to be just as ruthless. Florian Munteanu plays Viktor Drago. Munteanu is, himself, a professional heavyweight boxer who goes by the nickname “Big Nasty.”
The Crazy Story
This franchise has always been compelling more due to the personal journeys of its characters. They’re not just about beating the other guy, although they usually end up that way. But the main drama is internal as the scrappy underdog fighters prove their worth to themselves.
In this case, that struggle comes in the form of Viktor Drago, whose father killed Adonis’ own dad in the ring 30 years ago. Adonis has always struggled not to live in Apollo’s shadow, and this conflict is a chance to do that, but he also risks making the same mistakes.
Creed II may end up having more strained family relationships. We’ll have Adonis’ own interactions with his infant child and what they represent. And the whole plot centers around two fighters unloading their father issues on each other. Phylicia Rashad is also coming back as Mary Anne, Adonis’ adoptive mother and Apollo’s widow, who surely has some strong feelings about Creeds fighting Dragos.
But the filmmakers have at least one more son to add to the mix. Milo Ventimiglia will also appear as Robert Balboa, Jr., whom he also played in the sixth entry.
The Training Montages!
The Rocky series is famous for the scenes immediately before the Big Fight, which show the opponents going through their training. Creed II is continuing this tradition, and judging from the trailers, we’re in for some amazing fight prep. We’ve already seen Viktor doing some weird push-up combo with some giant hoses. And we’re even more curious about the part where Adonis hangs from a bar while Rocky hits him in the stomach with a medicine ball. And there’s boxing underwater? This is officially the best movie of the year.