The Rocky saga continues with a new twist on an old storyline that brings Creed fans closer to the original franchise than ever before. With the film's theatrical debut now less than two months away, the new Creed 2 trailer highlights Adonis' harrowing confrontation with the past as he steps into the ring to challenge the son of the man responsible for killing his father. The powerful new clip, which Deadline notes was released by MGM and Warner Bros. on Sept. 26, features the return of Adonis as a rising boxing star who attempts to avenge the death of his late father Apollo Creed by fighting the son of Ivan Drago — the man who beat Apollo to death in the ring 30 years earlier.
With his girlfriend Bianca (Tessa Thompson) still by his side and a new baby to protect, Adonis also known as Donnie, is faced with the new struggle of balancing his family life while continuing to defend his name after being publicly called-out by the Dragos. Much like the initial Creed film, Donnie enlists the help of his father's best friend, boxing legend Rocky Balboa (Sylvester Stallone) to give him guidance.
The challenge from Drago's son, Viktor, poses a risk to Donnie that, understandably, makes Rocky extremely uncomfortable. He tries to warn the younger Creed, "Don't do this." But, Donnie has his mind made up, explaining that doesn't "have a choice" in the matter. Rocky then reminds him of the perils of the past, saying, "That's the same thing your father said, and he died right here in my hands."
The original Rocky film series followed the story of Balboa who, during his rise as a major fighter, was stunned by the shocking and tragic loss of his best friend, Apollo in the franchise's Rocky IV. Early in the Creed II trailer it becomes evident that the new film's plot intends mirrors the saga of the original Rocky series, and seemingly sets the stage for multiple Creed movies down the line. The Rocky film franchise, which turns 42 in November, resulted in five sequels and spawned a successful revamp with the first Creed spinoff in 2015.
In a recent chat with the Toronto Sun, Jordan revealed that the plan to reintroduce Drago as a villain was the urging of Stallone, who felt the new film series needed to add a bad guy to its narrative. Jordan explained, “Sly was very adamant about this one having a villain."
When speaking with the Sun, the 31-year-old Black Panther star also shared:
“Drago was so huge in Rocky IV and he really (put a stamp) on the franchise at that time. So we wanted to make a sequel that was bigger. It’s always tough to shoot a number two to anything, but we wanted to do a fresh take. We didn’t have a real villain the first time around. That was more of an origin story with Adonis fighting himself to figure out who he was. This time, I think we found the perfect vehicle to build on that and take it to the next level.”
With the new film's narrative seemingly mapping things out for the future, Jordan appears to be up for the task, telling the Sun that he'd be willing to stay on with the franchise if the storyline continues to prosper. He explained,
“If I’m lucky. I want to keep making them as long as they’re good. I always want to keep my finger on the pulse."
Despite having a new writer and director, Creed II, which debuts in theaters on Nov. 21, looks to be well on its way to box office success. With Ryan Coogler, who recently made history with Black Panther, unable to return for the sequel, the film enlisted Stallone, who penned the film's first five installments, and Cheo Hodari Coker (Luke Cage) to write the script. Steven Caple Jr. (Grown-ish) will direct the film in first major studio film and Coogler will return as executive producer.
Now that Creed II's highly-anticipated release is just right around the corner, it will only be a matter of time before fans are able to relive the iconic tale of Creed vs Drago.