Adonis Creed has returned to the ring, as Creed II begins production on Monday in Philadelphia for Metro Goldwyn Mayer Pictures and Paramount Pictures. According to a press release, Michael B. Jordan, Sylvester Stallone and Tessa Thompson will be reprising their roles.
The film is a continuation of the Rocky saga and follows the 2015 hit Creed, which earned Stallone an Academy Award nomination for Best Supporting Actor and took in more than $170 million at the worldwide box office. Ryan Coogler (Black Panther) will not return to direct but will instead executive produce the project, passing the directing baton to Steven Caple Jr., who helmed the acclaimed 2016 drama The Land. Originally it was said that Sylvester Stallone would direct the sequel.
“When I wrote and directed Creed, I wanted to tell a human story about a family from a new perspective, while also paying homage to the Rocky characters we’ve all grown up knowing and loving,” said Coogler in a statement. “I’ve known Steven was an amazing filmmaker since our days at USC film school together, so I can’t wait to see what he, Sly, Mike and Tessa bring to this next chapter.”
Caple Jr. added:
It’s an honor to be a part of the franchise and work with such a thoughtful team. I got involved because I’ve always been a Rocky fan and I enjoy stories with heart and substance. But when Ryan put his touch on Creed I felt another level of connection to the franchise. It started to feel personal for many different reasons. This next Creed is a tale beyond the boxing ring and dives deep into family, legacy, and fears. I’m excited to share my view and collaborate with the talented cast and crew.
“Ryan and Steven are voices for their generation and their shared vision for Creed has brought the Rocky franchise to an entirely new audience,” said producer Irwin Winkler. “We know audiences will continue to embrace the legacy that Sly created so many years ago.”
The official synopsis for the film reads:
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.
Phylicia Rashad will also be reprising her role as Mary Anne, with Wood Harris and Andre Ward returning in their respective roles as Tony “Little Duke” Burton and Danny “Stuntman” Wheeler. New cast members include Florian “The Big Nasty” Munteanu as Viktor Drago, Dolph Lundgren returning to the role of Ivan Drago and Russell Hornsby as Buddy Marcelle. Creed II will be distributed theatrically in the U.S. by MGM, opening on Nov. 21, 2018, while Warner Bros. Pictures will distribute the film internationally.
Stallone, who was nominated for an Oscar for writing the original Rocky in 1976, has written the film, which is produced by Irwin Winkler, Charles Winkler, William Chartoff, David Winkler, Kevin King-Templeton and Stallone. Coogler, Jordan and Guy Riedel will executive produce.
Below, see an Instagram post in which Stallone talks about his excitement with being back on set and explains how far he’s come since the 1976 story that changed his life.
You know the old cliché that it “seems like yesterday and “but it does and it’s a very exciting moment to be here getting ready to Watch Creed 2 to commence filming. A very exciting day !!! The actors and production team has been waiting a long Time for this film to start , so ladies and gentlemen get ready to watch the fists startFLYING! #MGM #rockybalboa #CREED2
A post shared by Sly Stallone; (@officialslystallone) on