With the notable exception of the fifth film, the “Rocky” franchise has had a pretty good track record for quality, and 2015’s spin-off “Creed” only enhanced that. The Michael B. Jordan and Sylvester Stallone-led film cost a tight $35 million, made an impressive $175 million and earned some of the year’s best reviews along with an Oscar nomination.
While filmmaker Ryan Coogler isn’t back for the sequel, the director’s chair going to rising filmmaker Steven Caple Jr., pretty much everyone else is returning for the follow-up which also serves as something of a sequel to “Rocky IV” with Dolph Lundgren returning as Ivan Drago. Speaking with Look Mag this week, Lundgren says he almost turned down the film due to fan expectations and the sizeable gap between the films:
“It was a bit strange. It’s a bit weird. At first, I didn’t want to do it because I thought it would be kind of sad. I didn’t want to hurt that image because it’s like an iconic character that people, especially people who work out, really look up to this guy.
But the script was really good and I get a chance to show another side of the same man 35 years later, and more of a damaged, struggling side. I used some of my own life that I’ve been through the last 35 years in this character so it’s kind of full circle.
So it turned out to be a really great experience for me. A real dramatic challenge but also a great experience to look back at my own career the way he looks back at his career as a fighter. There are some parallels that I think are kind of unique.”
Stallone and “Luke Cage” showrunner Cheo Hodari Coker penned the script for the film which also stars Tessa Thompson, Florian Munteanu, Wood Harris, Russell Hornsby, Andre Ward and Phylicia Rashad. “Creed 2” opens in cinemas on November 21st.