When I first heard about rumblings of potential story-lines for a Creed sequel, both seemed like bizarre choices for a direction.
They were this one, which Stallone compared to The Godfather 2:
From Variety -
Coogler and Stallone have already developed ideas for the new “Creed.” One version of the story would take place in the past, which would mean — in a surprise that would energize the franchise’s fans — bringing back Carl Weathers to play Apollo Creed, who died in 1985’s “Rocky IV.” “Ryan has some ideas of going forward and backward and actually seeing Rocky and Apollo together,” Stallone revealed. “Think of ‘The Godfather 2.’ That’s what he was thinking of, which was kind of ambitious.” Stallone said he’d recently bumped into Weathers, who looked like he was still in good shape. “I can’t believe I got in the ring with him,” he says. “Even if it was play fighting.”*
'Creed' Sequel Could Reunite Rocky, Apollo - Variety
And this other idea that would harken back to Rocky IV, from the same Variety article…
Another option would be a linear story with Apollo’s son Adonis (Michael B. Jordan) taking on another challenger. “You’ll have him face a different opponent, which I would say is a more ferocious, big Russian,” Stallone says. “You can start to meld my experiences and then you start to bring different cultures into it. And you can see what’s happening with the Russians today in America. The complication will come with the girl’s ambition, because she’s not Adrian. She has places to go, things to see, the clock is running on her hearing.”
Out of those two ideas, I’m not sure which one seem less inspired. Both seemed to be at complete odds with what made Creed so great. These were looking back to the series and moving backwards, as oppose to the inspired Coogler film.
Thankfully, I was wrong in my judgement.
Creed 2, at its core is a beautiful meditation on fatherhood, and their relationships with children.
I absolutely adored Creed, and think it’s perhaps tied for best film of the whole franchise. Much like the previous film, it is a another thoughtful, and wonderful movie. I honestly wasn’t sure where things would go, and emotionally, I was very satisfied.
Creed 2 combines elements of two beloved entries, Rocky III (Donnie losing his Championship, and having to regain his “Eye of the Tiger”, if you will), and Rocky IV (obvious story line connections, and what I would like to think are some tribute montages).
While the film definitely has tons of “fan service”, it never seems gimmicky, and manages to deliver a genuine film experience of its own.
Michael B. Jordan has so much depth and plays the character so well. I look forward to hopefully several more chapters in Creed’s story. I’m not sure where the story will go, but I am excited to watch.
One personal hope would see Donnie go out on his own terms, and retire in a film or two. Doing what his own father and his mentor could not do. Happily retire, and enjoy his family.
So, where do you want to see the franchise go, as Jordan himself readies to step into the director’s chair on the next chapter?
Personal current ranking of the series:
- Rocky / Creed (tie)
- Rocky Balboa
- Creed 2
- Rocky 3
- Rocky 4
- Rocky 2
- Rocky 5