Michael B. Jordan returns as Adonis Johnson in the sequel Creed II - but is there an after-credits scene that sets up future movies in the Rocky/Creed franchise? The story of Rocky Balboa seemed to reach its conclusion back in 2006, when series lead Sylvester Stallone (who also wrote and directed most of the Rocky films) formally "retired" the boxer with the aptly-titled Rocky Balboa. However, nine years later, the property made a triumphant return with Creed, the brainchild of filmmaker Ryan Coogler, who was known at the time for directing the acclaimed true story-based drama, Fruitvale Station.
Jordan, who starred in Fruitvale Station, reunited with Coogler on Creed to play Adonis, the son of the late Apollo Creed: Rocky's enemy-turned friend, who was killed in a boxing match in Rocky IV. The first Creed movie followed Adonis as he sought to follow in his father's footsteps by becoming a boxer, with Rocky serving as his trainer and mentor. Creed II picks up a few years after that film, as Adonis is challenged to a boxing match by his greatest opponent yet: Viktor Drago (Florian Munteanu), the son of Ivan (Dolph Lundgren), aka. the fighter who killed Apollo in the ring.
Related: Read Screen Rant's Creed II Review
Moviegoers heading to theaters to see Creed II may be wondering if there's more to the film after the end credits finish rolling. Unfortunately, Creed II doesn't have an after-credits scene. Instead, the movie includes some stylized graphics (based on screenshots from the film) during the first half of its end credits, before the more traditional credits start to roll.
Though Creed II is largely a self-contained narrative and doesn't leave any major plot threads dangling for a third Creed movie to pick up, it's not designed to serve as a finale to the Creed series either. Jordan has gone on the record to say that he's game to make more Creed films, so long as the audience demand and quality is there. Similarly, Creed II explores how Adonis' relationship with Bianca Porter (Tessa Thompson) - his longtime girlfriend, who has a thriving career as a singer-songwriter, in spite of her diminishing hearing - continues to develop, even as his boxing career progresses. Neither of those storylines reach a definitive conclusion here and could easily be developed further in Creed III (and beyond).
Still, it's probably for the best that Creed II doesn't include an after-credits scene that sets up a future sequel. Part of what made the original Creed great was that it worked on its terms (whether one had seen the Rocky movies before it or not), and didn't need a post-credits stinger or cliffhanger ending to get audiences interested in seeing the second chapter in Adonis' story. Much like its protagonist, the Creed series would do well to continue focusing on carving out its own legacy one film at a time, rather than fixating on what's to come down the road.
- Creed 2 (2018) release date: Nov 21, 2018