Filming on Creed 2 is now underway, as confirmed by set photos showing Dolph Lundgren and Florian Munteanu shooting scenes at Philadelphia's Museum of Art, where the famous "Rocky steps" are. Lundgren returns to play his Rocky IV character Ivan Drago, the Russian behemoth who killed Apollo Creed (Carl Weathers) in the ring, then faced Rocky Balboa in the ultimate good vs. evil match. Munteanu joins the cast as Drago's son Viktor, who enters the ring against Creed's son Adonis (Michael B. Jordan).
Sylvester Stallone of course also returns for Creed 2, making his eighth on-screen appearance as Rocky Balboa. Stallone turned in an Oscar-nominated performance in Creed as an older Rocky taking Adonis under his wing while waging his own battle against cancer. Creed ended with a frail Balboa returning to travel up the Philly Art Museum steps like he did way back in 1976's original Rocky, bringing his story full-circle.
In the first set pictures from Creed 2 (via Philly.com), Dolph Lundgren and Florian Munteanu shoot scenes as the elder and younger Drago at the very steps made famous by Rocky Balboa. Significantly, Michael B. Jordan does not appear in the set photos, as he doesn't begin filming for another month. In addition to the photos, there's also video posted to TMZ, showing the Dragos at the top of the steps in winter garb. Is one of them about to strike the famous Rocky pose? Click here to see the video.
Over three decades after Rocky toppled the unbeatable Ivan Drago in Rocky IV, Drago and his son are back and ready to throw down. And apparently they don't have any qualms about taunting Rocky by showing up on his turf. How will Rocky respond to the challenge? More importantly, how will Adonis respond when he comes face-to-face with the man who killed his father? As we recall from Rocky IV, Drago didn't show a whole lot of remorse after dealing the fatal blows to Apollo. "If he dies, he dies," Drago famously intoned, completely unconcerned about Apollo's health.
Some would argue that bringing back the cartoonish Russian Ivan Drago will just turn Creed 2 into a bad Rocky movie. The great thing about Creed, they would argue, was that it fixed a lot of the problems of the Rocky sequels by clearing away the silliness and getting back to the core underdog story. Of course, a lot of Creed's success was due to Ryan Coogler's writing and direction. It's no surprise that Coogler has gone on from Creed to bigger and better things in Hollywood. Meanwhile, Coogler's former film school classmate Steven Caple Jr. takes over directing Creed 2, working from a script by Stallone and Luke Cage creator Cheo Hodari Coker. As such, it will be up to Caple to make sure Creed 2 doesn't descend into the kind of schlock that marked Rocky IV.
- Creed 2 (2018) release date: Nov 21, 2018