Grossing $109 million during its initial 2015-16 theatrical run, and earning raves from critics (it currently boasts a 95 percent “fresh” rating on Rotten Tomatoes), Creed was an unqualified triumph that reinvigorated the Rocky series and helped push both director Ryan Coogler and leading man Michael B. Jordan to the height of Hollywood superstardom — a trajectory they continued with Black Panther in February. Thus, in the grand tradition of Rocky Balboa’s own saga, the film will be receiving an action-packed sequel this November. And though Coogler won’t be back to helm the follow-up, another familiar franchise face will be returning… much to the chagrin of Sylvester Stallone’s Italian Stallion.
In Creed II, revenge will be on the mind of Jordan’s Adonis Creed, thanks to the man he finds himself squaring off against in the ring — Viktor Drago (Florian Munteanu). Viktor is, of course, the son of Rocky’s own Russian nemesis, Ivan Drago (Dolph Lundgren), who killed Adonis’s dad, Apollo (Carl Weathers), in 1985’s Rocky IV. That plot, however, is only teased in the trailer above, which focuses on Adonis trying to recover from an in-ring beating, and learning that Rocky doesn’t necessarily believe that the younger Creed can beat his opponent. What ensues is a montage of pugilistic sights set to Kendrick Lamar’s “DNA,” all of which builds to a crescendo until Adonis informs us that “it may not seem like it now, but this is more than just a fight” — and we then finally see the robe of his opponent, which features on its back the name “Drago.”
On Tuesday, the film also debuted its first teaser poster:
Directed by Steven Caple Jr., and written by Stallone, and co-starring Tessa Thompson, Phylicia Rashad, Andre Ward, and Wood Harris, Creed II will enter the theatrical ring on Nov. 21.