Creed II isn't slated to hit theaters until November 21, a long five months from now, but on Wednesday the trailer arrived. You're going to love it.
Like the first film from Sylvester Stallone and Ryan Coogler, who directed Creed and returns here as a producer, this one looks to focus more on family drama than in-ring action, at least if the trailer is much of an indication. Here's the studio synopsis for Creed II, written once again by Stallone and directed by Steven Caple Jr., whose debut feature The Land painted a vivid portrait of the underground drug trade in inner-city Cleveland.
Life has become a balancing act for Adonis Creed. Between personal obligations and training for his next big fight, he is up against the challenge of his life. Facing an opponent with ties to his family’s past only intensifies his impending battle in the ring. Rocky Balboa is there by his side through it all and, together, Rocky and Adonis will confront their shared legacy, question what’s worth fighting for, and discover that nothing’s more important than family. Creed II is about going back to basics to rediscover what made you a champion in the first place, and remembering that, no matter where you go, you can’t escape your history.
As the trailer reveals, the "opponent with ties to his family’s past" is the son of Ivan Drago. There's the family name right there on his robe!
Romanian boxer Florian Munteanu plays Viktor Drago, but we barely get a glimpse of his face in the trailer. Papa Drago, played once again by Dolph Lundgren is also absent. Even Stallone's appearances in the trailer are fairly limited.
This is likely not an accident. If Creed II succeeds like the first one did, it won't be becuase it's the 78th movie in the Rocky franchise, but becuase it's the beginning of its own franchise. It clearly shares the DNA of Rocky, but it's carried by the Michael B. Jordan, his character and the world he inhabits. That's a good thing.