A month out from release and “Creed II” is being sold on the fact that it serves not only as a sequel to 2015’s acclaimed “Rocky” spin-off “Creed,” but also something of a sequel to “Rocky IV”.
That 1985 film began with the death of Apollo Creed (Carl Weathers) in the ring at the hands of Soviet boxing champ Ivan Drago (Dolph Lundgren), leading to Rocky Balboa (Sylvester Stallone) taking on Ivan in the ring. Now, three decades later, Apollo and Ivan’s sons Adonis Creed (Michael B. Jordan) and Viktor Drago (Florian Munteanu) take to the ring in a film that deals with themes of maturity, legacy and family.
For the first time since “Rocky IV,” Dolph Lundgren reprises the role of a now older Ivan Drago and, speaking with Empire, Lundgren reveals that time has not been kind to the former boxer:
“Basically, my character has been in a living hell since 1985 and lost everything. The script re-introduces him as a pretty damaged character, emotionally, and somebody who’s suffered a lot physically from a hard life. I can identify with that quite easily. The physical part [and] the emotional part.”
Lundgren also reveals he’s somewhat protective of the character and didn’t see a point in reprising it until this film’s new approach, one he could identify with as daddy issues go hand in hand with competitiveness and physical contact sports:
“[He’s] become an iconic character. People quote him and have T-shirts. I didn’t want to mess with that image. I didn’t see a way, up until now, that it would work. But obviously now when I’m old enough, suddenly I work as a parent. The father-son concept was quite good because I had a violent relationship with my dad… many men do and end up in contact sports.”
“Creed 2” is currently slated to hit cinemas on November 21st.