Sylvester Stallone's Creed 2 is now officially scheduled to hit U.S. theaters on November 21, 2018. The Creed sequel will once again star Michael B. Jordan as Adonis Creed, the son of Rocky Balboa's (Stallone) late rival-turned friend Apollo Creed - with Stallone reprising his own iconic role as the "Italian Stallion", who now serves as the coach and mentor for the son of Creed.
2015's Creed was a passion project for writer/director Ryan Coogler, who was inspired to make the film by his own father's love for the Rocky franchise and what it represents. The film was both a critical darling and box office success (grossing $173 million worldwide against a $35 million budget), all but ensuring that a sequel would eventually come to fruition. Since Coogler has been preoccupied with making Marvel Studio's Black Panther for almost two years, Stallone has been leading the charge on Creed 2 - serving as the project's writer and director, in addition to its costar.
Stallone has been hinting at a 2018 release date for Creed 2 for months, but now MGM has made the news official. Much like Creed launched in theaters over the 2015 Thanksgiving holiday frame, Creed 2 will hit the scene right before Thanksgiving 2018. The Creed sequel's opening weekend competition currently includes Disney's animated sequel Ralph Breaks the Internet: Wreck-It Ralph 2 and the untitled Marwencol project; director Robert Zemeckis' latest true story-inspired drama.
The exact plot for Creed 2 has not yet been revealed, but Stallone has confirmed that it revolves around Ivan Drago (Dolph Lundgren): the ferocious Russian boxer who killed Apollo during a brutal match more than thirty years ago in 1985's Rocky IV. Lundgren has been training hard to reprise his role as Drago, fueling speculation that Creed 2 will be about Adonis literally avenging his father, by participating in a boxing match with the man who both defeated him in the ring and was responsible for his untimely death.
If that storyline sounds more melodramatic than Creed's comparatively gritty and grounded narrative (one that also revolved around Rocky fighting his own personal battle with cancer), then it also sounds like something that's more in Stallone's wheelhouse as a filmmaker. On the other hand, it's certainly possible that Stallone will decided to temper his traditional directorial approach to the Rocky franchise, in order to better match the tone and style established by the first Creed movie. Either way, Coogler set a high bar with his installment, so hopefully Sly and his collaborators are up to the challenge of meeting it.
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