The actor will be juggling some roles behind-the-scenes for the next installment of the Rocky franchise.
Ryan Coogler’s Creed made waves in 2015, ushering in a new generation of films based on the 40-year old Rocky film franchise. Creed saw Michael B. Jordan as the new young star, but not without Sylvester Stallone returning to the series as Rocky Balboa as well. The film was very well received, and Stallone found himself with many accolades and nominations for his return as Rocky. Hence, it was a no-brainer that a Creed sequel would eventually be in the works. It has been reported that Stallone will, in fact, be returning for Creed 2 — this time as director, producer, and writer.
“Looking forward to directing and producing the incredibly talented Michael B. Jordan in CREED 2 next year …one more round!” Stallone wrote on Instagram. Whether this will keep his onscreen appearances on the sidelines remains to be seen. The first film establishes that Rocky now has cancer, significantly weakening him and pushing Jordan’s Adonis Johnson Creed to the forefront.
Creed centers on Adonis’ coming-of-age story. With Rocky as his trainer, the son of Apollo Creed — who appeared in the first four Rocky films and has been a significant presence in all the subsequent films — becomes a renowned fighter in his own right. Plot details for Creed 2 are still kept under wraps, but another old face is set to return: Dolph Lundgren will reprise his role as Rocky rival Ivan Drago and there may or may not be a showdown between him and Adonis. Drago, after all, did kill Adonis’ father.
There will be those who are ecstatic for Stallone’s return in the director’s chair. He has had experience helming Rocky films in the past to mostly positive results. There is no doubt that Stallone understands the franchise inside out at this point. And depending on how well Creed 2 goes, “one more round” could very well be a farce of an exclamation. The first film, after all, made a good amount of money.
But for me — someone with zero interest in sports movies and who only went to see Creed because “the guy who did Fruitvale Station directed it” — the fact that Coogler won’t be returning is a real shame. Coogler’s script, story, and direction catapulted the first film to the success that it is. Understandably, though, Creed 2 would be a massive follow-up project to Marvel’s Black Panther, which will be out in February next year. Doing two gargantuan films back to back just sounds like a burnout waiting to happen. Furthermore, scheduling for Creed 2 could clash with other projects that Coogler has lined up for the future, like his fourth re-team with MBJ for instance.
Whatever the case may be, production for Creed 2 can now get underway without any more hiccups. The film is set to shoot in 2018.