Ivan Drago actor Dolph Lundgren reveals he was hesitant to reprise his most famous role in Creed 2, but joined the movie because the script is "really good." Michael B. Jordan and Sylvester Stallone also return for the Creed sequel, together with Tessa Thompson. Steven Caple, Jr. takes on directing duties, stepping in for Creed director Ryan Coogler, who of course has moved on to bigger and better things with his critically acclaimed box office smash Black Panther.
Sylvester Stallone penned the script for Creed 2, and originally announced that he would direct the movie himself. However, after discussions with the studio and Michael B. Jordan, Stallone agreed to step aside. Stallone will instead stick to acting, returning once again as Rocky Balboa. In Creed 2, Jordan's Adonis Creed battles Ivan Drago's son 30 years after Drago killed Creed's father in the ring. This makes Creed 2 not only a sequel to Creed, but also a follow-up to the enjoyably cheesy Rocky IV. With the story in place, Creed 2 enlisted Dolph Lundgren to return as the elder Drago.
Speaking to the Las Vegas Review-Journal, Lundgren reveals that he was at first hesitant to reprise the role of Drago after so much time. However, when he read the script for Creed 2, he was won over. Lundgren said:
That was something Stallone suggested to me about a year ago. I wasn’t sure, since it’s been about 30 years. I wanted Ivan Drago to live in the past. But it turned out that the script for “Creed II” was really good. All I can tell you is Ivan is back. The Russians come back over for a challenge.
The Review-Journal also asked Lundgren if he ever felt bad about killing Apollo Creed in Rocky IV. The actor cheekily replied, "Well, a little bit because I like Carl Weathers who played Apollo Creed. He still seems slightly upset about it." In Creed 2, Apollo's son gets a chance for revenge against Drago's son, played by Romanian boxer Florian ‘Big Nasty’ Munteanu. With America and Russia once again in a contentious relationship, we might expect Creed 2 will feature political overtones not that dissimilar to the ones that informed Rocky IV. Though one hopes Creed 2 won't be as baldly jingoistic as that comically exaggerated Reagan-era artifact.
Given the cartoonish nature of Drago, it's fair to wonder what tone Creed 2 will try to strike when bringing him back. Ryan Coogler's Creed felt nothing like the campy Rocky IV, but had much more in common with the original Rocky. Of course, after the groundedness of the first Rocky, the sequels quickly descended into nonsense. The Drago and son storyline indeed has some wondering if Creed 2 will only send the new franchise down the same unfortunate path. But we'll have to wait and see how the movie turns out.
Source: Las Vegas Review-Journal
- Creed 2 (2018) release date: Nov 21, 2018