When first announced, Creed was almost immediately written off as a probable letdown. After all, Sylvester Stallone's previous film, The Expendables 3, was widely considered to be a disappointment and there was no guarantee that a seventh Rocky movie wouldn't be the same. But then MGM changed all that by assembling the right team, casting Michael B. Jordan in the role of Adonis Creed and getting Fruitvale Station's Ryan Coogler to direct.
Cut to two years later, and Creed is considered to be one of the major highlights of the fall 2015 season for movies. Both critically-acclaimed and a financial success, Creed managed to strike a real chord with both longtime fans of the franchise as well as newcomers, giving a truly fresh start to the Rocky series. As such, MGM is already planning Creed 2 with fall 2017 as its prospective release date, but unfortunately, Coogler may not be back to direct this time around, as he'll be much too busy helming Marvel's Black Panther.
Conversely, Creed's star Michael B. Jordan will indeed be back for the sequel, and he is already gearing up to reprise his role. Jordan recently talked to IGN about Creed 2, commenting on his co-star Sylvester Stallone's ideas for the next film as well as voicing some of his own:
"I think The Godfather take is super ambitious and awesome. But when you’re dealing with someone like [director] Ryan [Coogler] I think honestly he could pull off anything. So that’s pretty cool. And honestly in Creed 1 we didn’t have a real villain I don’t think, so it would be kind of cool to have that antagonist character for Adonis to go up to and have some real animosity towards. That would be pretty cool."
While Adonis did have an opponent to fight in the climatic battle, the bulk of the film did not focus on their rivalry. Instead, much like the original Rocky, it focused on Adonis' journey to finally becoming ready for that fight, which worked exceedingly well for the first installment in a new era for the franchise. But rehashing the same plot for the sequel is most likely not going to work, so it makes sense why an added element of a true villain could work for Creed 2 and help not just differentiate it from its predecessor, but also continue the evolution of the story it started.
Sticking on the subject of the Creed 2, Ryan Coogler also told IGN that he would be willing to work on another Creed movie if he is able to find a personal connection to it:
"Having gone through the process and developed these character[s], delved into this world, worked with these actors, I would love the opportunity to do something like that again and revisit these characters again. As long as it’s in a story that works and is as meaningful frankly to me as this one was."
Of course, it's unlikely Coogler will return to direct, given his current obligations to Black Panther. That, however, does not necessarily mean he couldn't contribute in some other creative capacity, whether it be by developing a script, producing it, or even just serving as a consultant. Since Coogler acted as a such driving force for the development of the first one, MGM would be mistaken not to seek out his vision for the sequel, if nothing else. But that can only help so much, and to really be successful and live up to the new franchise the first film created, Creed 2 is going to have to find the right director to continue what Coogler started while also expanding upon it.
Creed is now playing in theaters. Screen Rant will bring you additional information on Creed 2 as it becomes available.