Creed II antagonist Victor Drago, the son of Rocky IV villain Ivan Drago (Dolph Lundgren), gets the spotlight in the latest promotional video for the boxing sequel. Michael B. Jordan reprises his role as Adonis Johnson - the son of the late boxer Apollo Creed - for the movie, with Sylvester Stallone likewise returning as Adonis' mentor (and, of course, his father's rival-turned friend) Rocky Balboa for what will be his eighth performance as the character overall, between the original six Rocky movies and the first Creed.
By the time Creed II begins, Adonis has not only cemented his status as a capable professional boxer (his connection to Apollo aside), but also become a father and is raising a child with his significant other, Bianca (Tessa Thompson). Enter Victor, a boxer who was raised to hate Rocky and anyone associated with the Creed name, and hopes to defeat Adonis in the ring, as payback for Rocky defeating his father in a match... after Ivan inadvertently killed Apollo during their own boxing showdown. Needles to say, the stakes are dangerously high for both men, after Adonis accepts Victor's challenge to a battle in the ring.
MGM has now released a Creed II video - titled, fittingly "Introducing Victor Drago" - that highlights real-life boxer Florian “Big Nasty” Munteanu's performance as the character. You can check it out in the space below.
The decision to cast Munteanu as Victor in Creed II was clearly a smart one; the Romanian boxer's physical stature and intimating presence alone should make his character feel like a legitimate threat to Adonis in the film. That will also make it all the easier to believe that Victor is someone whom Ivan has spent the past twenty-eight years sculpting and shaping into a violent brawler - or, as Rocky puts it in the Creed II trailers, someone who was "raised on hate" - much like the one teased in this new video.
MGM's marketing has further made it clear that the Creed sequel focuses heavily on Adonis and Victor's shared desire for revenge against the other (albeit, for very different reasons) and how they inherited those toxic emotions from the blood feud between their respective fathers. That ought to provide Creed II with some proper thematic depth and emotional substance, to go along with the hard-hitting fighting sequences. Indeed, Creed director Ryan Coogler may not be calling the shots this time around but, by the look of his things, he found a fitting replacement in Steven Caple Jr. (The Land) to keep the franchise going strong in his absence on Creed II.
- Creed 2 (2018) release date: Nov 21, 2018