Dolph Lundgren reveals that an early draft of Creed II featured Carl Weathers’ Apollo Creed returning as a ghost. Released in 2015, Ryan Coogler’s Creed breathed new life into the Rocky franchise by bringing together Sylvester Stallone’s Rocky Balboa with Michael B. Jordan’s Adonis Creed, the son of deceased Rocky character Apollo. In 2018, Creed 2 continued the story of Adonis while bringing back other key characters from the franchise’s past, including Lundgren’s hulking Russian boxer Ivan Drago.
Much like the original Creed, the sequel tapped into nostalgia while bringing in fresh characters and story elements, a formula that helped the film ring up $216 million worldwide. Directed by Steven Caple Jr., the film saw Adonis doing battle with Ivan Drago’s son Viktor against the wishes of his mentor Rocky, while also facing his own personal struggles. Among other things, the film provided a chance for Lundgren to revisit the Ivan Drago character and play him with more humanity after his cartoonish portrayal of the same character in the generally schlocky Rocky IV.
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