Sylvester Stallone is reported to be writing the sequel to Rocky spinoff Creedwhich aims to start production sometime in 2018.

The classic movie underdog Rocky Balboa spawned a seven movie franchise and influenced dozens of other properties and has been a part of Stallone’s DNA since the beginning of his career. It’s as much his story as it is the story of the “Italian Stallion” – and as the sun sets on the Stallone era of the franchise, it appears to be in good hands. Relegated to a supporting role alongside Michael B. Jordan’s Adonis Creed in Ryan Coogler’s 2015 spinoff Creed, Stallone earned rave reviews for his complex performance as the aging former boxer. With Creed II on the way, it appears Stallone will continue to play a key role in the direction of his premiere franchise.

In the past, Stallone has hinted that Creed was possibly the end of the line for the Rocky Balboa character, but his involvement in the sequel has since been confirmed. Deadline is reporting that Stallone is also writing Creed 2 for MGM, which is looking to film in 2018 for either a late 2018 or 2019 release date. Stallone has hinted in the past that the Creed II story will mirror Rocky IV, with Adonis Creed taking on the younger son of Ivan Drago, Dolph Lundren’s Russian boxing titan who killed Creed’s father in the ring.

Creed1 Sly Stallone is Writing Creed 2, Aims to Start Filming in 2018

Besides starring in each of the entries, Stallone wrote the first six films, earning an Oscar nomination for the script of the original film in 1976. The only entry in the franchise that he did not share a writing credit in was Creed, which was written by  Coogler and Aaron Covington. He also served as the director for entries number two, three, four, and six, with John Avildsen directing the original and part five and Coogler directing Creed. It appears that Coogler will be too busy over at Marvel with Black Panther to return to the director’s chair for the sequel, so there’s a chance that Stallone gets called upon to return behind the camera.

The parallels to Rocky IV could be a juicy story detail to exploit for the sequel to Creed, which was an uproarious and energetic crowd-pleaser in its own right. Taking this progression of Adonis’ journey into a potential all-time boxing great through what could be a revenge-fueled path is fascinating to think about, as emotions would run high inside and outside the ring. If Stallone can channel that energy for Creed IIthe film will be another major success in the late years of the Rocky franchise.

NEXT: James Gunn Wants Stallone to Continue to Be a Part of the MCU

Source: Deadline

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