Creed II

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Creed II
Creed II poster.png
Theatrical release poster
Directed bySteven Caple Jr.
Produced by
Screenplay by
  • Juel Taylor
  • Sylvester Stallone
Story by
Based onCharacters
by Sylvester Stallone
Music byLudwig Göransson[1]
CinematographyKramer Morgenthau
Edited by
Distributed by
Release date
  • November 14, 2018 (2018-11-14) (Lincoln Center)
  • November 21, 2018 (2018-11-21) (United States)
Running time
130 minutes[2]
CountryUnited States
Budget$50 million[3]
Box office$122.7 million[4]

Creed II is a 2018 American sports drama film directed by Steven Caple Jr., and written by Juel Taylor and Sylvester Stallone, from a story by Sascha Penn and Cheo Hodari Coker. A sequel to Creed (2015) and the eighth installment in the Rocky film series, it stars Michael B. Jordan, Sylvester Stallone, Tessa Thompson, Dolph Lundgren, Florian Munteanu, Wood Harris, and Phylicia Rashad. Creed writer-director Ryan Coogler serves as an executive producer on the film. The film follows a fight over 33 years in the making, as Adonis Creed meets a new adversary in the ring: Viktor Drago, son of Ivan Drago, the powerful athlete who killed Adonis' father Apollo Creed.

A Creed sequel was confirmed in January 2016, although due to both Coogler and Jordan's involvement in Black Panther, the film was delayed, with Coogler ultimately being replaced by Caple. Stallone completed the script in July 2017 and announced Lundgren would be reprising his role as Drago, and filming began in Philadelphia in March 2018, lasting through July.

Creed II was released in the United States by Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Pictures on November 21, 2018. The film has grossed over $122 million worldwide and received generally positive reviews from critics, who praised the cast and character development, calling it a "solid, if predictable" sequel.[5]


Three years after his loss to "Pretty" Ricky Conlan, Adonis Creed scores a string of victories, culminating in a victory over Danny "Stuntman" Wheeler (Andre Ward) to win the WBC World Heavyweight Championship. Now a worldwide star, Adonis proposes to his girlfriend, Bianca Taylor, who agrees to marry him. When Bianca suggests starting a new life together in Los Angeles, Adonis is reluctant to leave his life behind in Philadelphia.

Meanwhile, Ivan Drago, a former Soviet boxer who killed Adonis' father, Apollo Creed, in the ring thirty-three years earlier, sees an opportunity to regain the glory that was taken from him as a result of his loss to Rocky Balboa in Moscow later that same year by pitting his son, Viktor Drago (with the assistance of Buddy Marcelle, a promoter who has followed Viktor's career closely), against Adonis. When Rocky refuses to support Adonis's decision to accept Viktor's challenge, Adonis, feeling betrayed, decides to leave for Los Angeles.

Adonis and Bianca settle down in a luxurious apartment in Los Angeles close to Adonis's adoptive mother, and Apollo’s widow, Mary Anne. As Adonis and Bianca adjust to their new life on the west coast and prepare for the upcoming match with Viktor, Bianca learns that she is pregnant. Adonis recruits Tony "Little Duke" Evers, son of his father's trainer, as Rocky's replacement. Overwhelmed with all the recent developments in his life, Adonis rushes into the match, getting himself badly injured. While Viktor is disqualified for hitting Adonis while he is down, allowing Adonis to retain the World Heavyweight Championship, he becomes extremely popular in Russia and wins a series of fights given top billing.

His body and ego shattered, Adonis becomes increasingly disconnected from Bianca. Mary Anne reaches out to Rocky in hopes of having him come to help Adonis out of his slump; Rocky arrives, he and Adonis make up, and Rocky agrees to train Adonis properly for a rematch against Viktor, who is suffering near-torturous levels of physical tests by his father. Bianca gives birth to a baby girl, and they name her Amara. Adonis and Bianca's fears are realized when their child is born deaf, inherited from her mother's progressive degenerative hearing disorder.

While Viktor continues to taunt Adonis publicly, he is constantly pressured by his father to regain their honor. Ivan appears to be enjoying the attentions of the media and various Russian delegates, to which Viktor appears uncomfortable with. At a State Dinner, he and Ivan meet Ludmilla, his mother, and Ivan's ex-wife, for the first time in several years after she abandoned both of them after the loss to Rocky. Viktor is immediately enraged at the sight of his mother and chastises Ivan for his interactions with the people who outcasted them. Back in America, Rocky takes Adonis to a decrepit location in the California desert to retrain, describing it as a place where fighters are reborn. Adonis undergoes a rigorous and brutal training regimen with Rocky, focusing on fighting from the inside and training his body to repeatedly absorb the heavy impact he knows he'll receive from Viktor in the ring.

The rematch in Moscow is considerably more balanced as a more controlled and focused Adonis exchanges equal blows with Viktor. Since Viktor is accustomed to winning all of his fights by knockout, his fights have never lasted beyond the fourth round, something that Adonis uses to his advantage as he endures Viktor's punishment deeper into the match, even after his ribs break again. In the tenth round after being knocked down again, Adonis unleashes a furious rage, managing to land sequence after sequence of effective blows, knocking Viktor down twice. Ludmilla, who had been sitting ringside with some of Viktor's supporters, departs when the tide of the fight shifts in Adonis' favor, knocking Viktor off-balance emotionally. Ivan notes this as well, coming to terms with Viktor's earlier statements on the fair-weathered nature of the same supporters who had run Ivan out of Russia. With Viktor cornered and receiving multiple strikes without defending himself, but unwilling to go down, Ivan throws in the towel, conceding the fight to Adonis to ensure his son isn’t seriously injured or killed. Though Viktor is ashamed, Ivan assures Viktor it is okay that he lost, and embraces him. As Bianca enters the ring to celebrate with Adonis, Rocky recuses himself from joining them. Telling Adonis that it is “his time”, he takes a seat and watches them from outside the ring.

Viktor and Ivan are later training together back in Ukraine. Rocky travels to Vancouver to make peace with his own estranged son, Robert, and meets his grandson Logan for the first time, noting how much he looks like Adrian. Adonis visits Apollo’s grave where he makes peace with his deceased father and the burden of carrying on his legacy, as he and Bianca introduce him to his granddaughter, who is sporting new hearing aids.


  • Michael B. Jordan as Adonis Creed: An underdog but talented heavyweight boxer and the son of world heavyweight champion Apollo Creed. He goes by the name Donnie Johnson.
  • Sylvester Stallone as Rocky Balboa: A two-time world heavyweight champion and Apollo's rival-turned-friend who becomes Adonis' trainer and mentor. He owns and operates an Italian restaurant in Philadelphia named after his deceased wife, Adrian.
  • Tessa Thompson as Bianca Taylor: Adonis's girlfriend, who since becomes his fiancée and the mother of his child. Also a singer-songwriter with progressive hearing loss.
  • Dolph Lundgren as Ivan Drago: Russia's former prize champion boxer, who with the secret use of steroids and advanced training, gained worldwide attention due to his brute strength that had not been seen before. Years prior, he killed Apollo Creed during an exhibition boxing match, and was later defeated by Rocky. Having been disgraced in Russia, he relocated to Ukraine to raise his son Viktor, whom he also trained to box.
  • Florian Munteanu as Viktor Drago: Ivan's son who is also a boxer, and Adonis' new rival.
  • Phylicia Rashad as Mary Anne Creed: Apollo's widow and Adonis' stepmother, who takes in Adonis as a child following the death of Adonis' biological mother.
  • Andre Ward as Danny "Stuntman" Wheeler: A heavyweight boxer and Adonis' rival from whom he succeeds as the heavyweight champion.
  • Wood Harris as Tony "Little Duke" Evers: One of Wheeler's assistant trainers. His father, Tony "Duke" Evers, was a father-figure for Apollo as well as his trainer/manager when Apollo became world heavyweight champion. He then became one of Rocky's trainers after Apollo's death. He trains Adonis for his first match with Viktor after Rocky refuses, and acts as an assistant trainer for the rematch.
  • Brigitte Nielsen as Ludmila Drago: Ivan's ex-wife and Viktor's mother who left the pair during the latter's infancy .[6][7][8]
  • Milo Ventimiglia as Robert Balboa: Rocky's estranged son, who moved to Vancouver in the period between Rocky Balboa and Creed and is now a father himself.[9]
  • Russell Hornsby as Buddy Marcelle: A boxing promoter who sets up the match between Adonis Creed and Viktor Drago.

Archive footage of Carl Weathers as Apollo Creed is used throughout the film, and the actor’s likeness appears through the use of photographs and murals.



On January 5, 2016, Sylvester Stallone and Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Pictures CEO Gary Barber confirmed to Variety that a sequel to Creed was in development.[10] The same month, Stallone posed the possibility of seeing Milo Ventimiglia appear in the sequel, reprising his role as Rocky's son Robert Balboa from Rocky Balboa.[11] Ventimiglia previously revealed during the development of Creed that he was open to returning to the franchise, stating, "I'll tell you what, if they invited me, I'd love to be there. If they didn't, I wouldn't be offended."[12] It was revealed in April 2018 that Ventimiglia would have an appearance in the film.[13] On January 11, 2016, Barber revealed that Ryan Coogler would not be returning due to scheduling conflicts, because he was attached to Black Panther, though he would return as executive producer.[14] Michael B. Jordan's schedule ended up being delayed due to Black Panther, as he was starring in that film.[14] In July 2017, Stallone confirmed that he had completed the script for the sequel, and also revealed that Ivan Drago would be featured in the film.[15] In October 2017, it was announced that Stallone would direct and produce the film.[16] However, in December 2017, it was reported that Steven Caple Jr. would instead direct the film with Tessa Thompson confirmed to reprise her role of Bianca, Creed's love interest.[17] In January 2018, Romanian amateur boxer Florian Munteanu was cast in the film to play Drago's son with Dolph Lundgren set to reprise his role of Drago.[18] In March 2018, Russell Hornsby joined the cast while Phylicia Rashad, Wood Harris, and Andre Ward were confirmed to reprise their roles from the prior film.[19]

Vince DiCola, composer of Rocky IV was originally rumored to return to score the film, but stated in a Facebook post: “I would have loved to return, however that’s just how Hollywood works. We don’t always get what we want.”


Principal photography began in March 2018.[20][21] Filming occurred in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, in the city's Port Richmond neighborhood,[22] and was completed on June 7, 2018.[23] Some scenes were filmed at the Grey Towers Castle at Arcadia University in Glenside, Pennsylvania. [24]


Creed II was released in the United States on November 21, 2018.[25] It premiered on November 14, 2018 at the Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts in New York City.[26]


Box office[edit]

As of December 13, 2018, Creed II has grossed $99.5 million in the United States and Canada, and $23.2 million in other territories, for a total worldwide gross of $122.7 million, against a production budget of $50 million.[4]

In the United States and Canada, Creed II was released alongside Ralph Breaks the Internet and Robin Hood, as well as the wide expansion of Green Book, and was projected to gross $44–54 million from 3,350 theaters in its five-day opening weekend.[27] The film made $11.6 million on its first day, including $3.7 million from Tuesday night previews (the second best pre-Thanksgiving total ever behind fellow release Ralph Breaks the Internet's $3.8 million and marking a 64% improvement over the first film's $1.4 million preview total). It went on to debut to $35.3 million in its opening weekend (a five-day total of $55.8 million), finishing second at the box office and marking the best Thanksgiving opening for a live-action film, besting Enchanted ($49.1 million) and Four Christmases ($46.1 million).[28] In its second weekend the film made $16.8 million, droping to the third spot. In its third weekend the film has grossed $10 million, finishing once again at third.[29]

Critical response[edit]

On review aggregator Rotten Tomatoes, the film holds an approval rating of 83% based on 224 reviews, with an average rating of 6.9/10. The website's critical consensus reads, "Creed II's adherence to franchise formula adds up to a sequel with few true surprises, but its time-tested generational themes still pack a solid punch."[30] On Metacritic, the film has a weighted average score of 67 out of 100, based on reviews from 43 critics, indicating "generally favorable reviews".[31] Audiences polled by CinemaScore gave the film an average grade of "A" on an A+ to F scale, the same score earned by its predecessor, while PostTrak reported filmgoers gave it an 87% positive score and a 72% "definite recommend".[28]

Odie Henderson of gave the film three out of four stars, stating that "Creed II falls victim to the sins of sequelitis—it's bigger, louder and more grandiose than its predecessor—yet manages to right itself by not losing focus on the humanity of its central characters."[32] Owen Gleiberman of Variety called the film "rousing and effective" and wrote "Creed II has been made with heart and skill, and Jordan invests each moment with such fierce conviction that he makes it all seem like it matters. Even if it all mattered a notable notch more in Creed."[33] Eric Kohn of IndieWire gave the film a "B", praising Stallone's performance and saying: "Kramer Morgenthau's cinematography lacks the showy steadicam acrobatics of Creed, but the climactic battle between Adonis and Viktor still delivers a dazzling light show that dovetails right into the visceral mayhem of the battle, captured from so many angles some viewers may reel from the punches themselves."[34]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Creed-II-Score-Album-Details". Film Music Reporter.
  2. ^ "Creed II (12A)". British Board of Film Classification. November 14, 2018. Retrieved November 21, 2018.
  3. ^ Sharf, Zack (September 27, 2018). "'Creed II' Director Steven Caple Jr. on Ryan Coogler's Advice and Directing a 'Rocky' Film After a Low-Budget Indie – Exclusive". IndieWire. Retrieved November 22, 2018.
  4. ^ a b "Creed II (2018)". Box Office Mojo. IMDb. Retrieved December 14, 2018.
  5. ^ Campbell, Christopher (November 18, 2018). "Creed II First Reviews: A Solid, if Predictable, Sequel". Rotten Tomatoes. Retrieved November 16, 2018.
  6. ^ Brigitte Nielsen filming Creed 2 this week? —
  7. ^ Creed 2: The First Week Filming, Plus Stallone Surprises Tourists at Rocky Statue — Philly Chit Chat
  8. ^ Creed 2 Week 2 — Michael B Jordan & Brigitte Nielsen Spotted In Philly PLUS — Philly Chit Chat
  9. ^ Creed 2: Milo Ventimiglia — This Is Us — Returns and More from the Set — Philly Chit Chat
  10. ^ Setoodeh, Ramin (January 5, 2016). "Sylvester Stallone Says 'Creed' Sequel Could Reunite Rocky and Apollo (EXCLUSIVE)". Variety. Retrieved January 6, 2016.
  11. ^ Friedman, Roger (January 4, 2016). "Oscar Favorite Sylvester Stallone Says "Creed II" Could Bring Back Rocky's Son". Showbiz 411. Retrieved September 28, 2017.
  12. ^ Topel, Fred (August 3, 2013). "Exclusive: Milo Ventimiglia Ready for Creed Comeback". Crave. Retrieved September 28, 2017.
  13. ^ Creed 2: Milo Ventimiglia — This Is Us — Returns and More from the Set — Philly Chit Chat
  14. ^ a b Setoodeh, Ramin (January 11, 2016). "'Creed' Sequel Aims for November 2017 Release (EXCLUSIVE)". Variety. Retrieved January 12, 2016.
  15. ^ Evry, Max (July 21, 2017). "Drago Confirmed for Creed II as Stallone Finishes Script". Retrieved July 22, 2017.
  16. ^ Desta, Yohana. "He's Back: Sylvester Stallone Will Direct Creed 2". HWD. Retrieved March 19, 2018.
  17. ^ Kroll, Justin (December 11, 2017). "Steven Caple Jr. to Direct 'Creed 2' Starring Michael B. Jordan and Sylvester Stallone (EXCLUSIVE)". Variety. Retrieved March 19, 2018.
  18. ^ Sneider, Jeff (January 15, 2018). ""Creed 2": Florian "Big Nasty" Munteanu to Play Dolph Lundgren's Son and Michael B. Jordan's Opponent (Exclusive)". The Tracking Board. Retrieved January 17, 2018.
  19. ^ N'Duka, Amanda (April 2, 2018). "Russell Hornsby Joins 'Creed II'; Melvin Gregg Cast In 'High Flying Bird'". Deadline Hollywood. Retrieved April 3, 2018.
  20. ^ "'Creed II' filming at the Art Museum: Dolph Lundgren spotted - Philly".
  21. ^ "Creed 2 Starts Filming as First Set Photos Emerge". March 16, 2018.
  22. ^ Mondon, Marielle (April 3, 2018). "Don't freak out but Michael B. Jordan is training at this local gym". PhillyVoice. Retrieved May 9, 2018.
  23. ^ "That's a wrap on Philly". Creed. June 7, 2018. Retrieved June 8, 2018 – via Twitter.
  24. ^ "Lights, camera, action, yo! 🎬 The cast and crew of #Creed2 stopped by Grey Towers Castle to film this week. We have a few movie tickets set aside for the most clever responses to our fill-in-the-blank challenge: "If 'Rocky' was set at Arcadia, _____."". Arcadia. May 13, 2018. Retrieved May 13, 2018..
  25. ^ Trumbore, Dave. "'Creed 2' Release Date Confirmed for Late November 2018". Collider. Retrieved April 20, 2017.
  26. ^ "GALLERY: Creed II stars light up the red carpet at New York City premiere". The Grio. November 15, 2018. Retrieved November 15, 2018.
  27. ^ "Box Office Preview: 'Ralph Breaks the Internet' to Win Holidayate=November 20, 2018". Retrieved November 20, 2018.
  28. ^ a b D'Alessandro, Anthony (November 25, 2018). "'Ralph' Scoring 2nd Best Thanksgiving Debut With $84M+; 'Creed II' $55M+ Live-Action Champ; 'Robin Hood' Goes Wrong At $14M+". Deadline Hollywood. Retrieved November 25, 2018.
  29. ^ D'Alessandro, Anthony (December 2, 2018). "Ralph' Breaking $25M+ 2nd Weekend; 'Grinch' Steals $203M+; 'Hannah Grace' $6M+ In Slow Post Thanksgiving Period – Sunday Update". Deadline Hollywood. Retrieved December 2, 2018.
  30. ^ "Creed II (2018)". Rotten Tomatoes. Fandango Media. Retrieved November 30, 2018.
  31. ^ "Creed II reviews". Metacritic. Retrieved November 26, 2018.
  32. ^ Henderson, Odie. "Creed II Movie Review & Film Summary (2018) | Roger Ebert". Retrieved 2018-11-20.
  33. ^ Gleiberman, Owen (November 16, 2018). "Film Review: 'Creed II'". Variety Magazine. Penske Media. Retrieved November 20, 2018.
  34. ^ Kohn, Eric (November 16, 2018). "'Creed II' Review: Michael B. Jordan Rules Another Satisfying 'Rocky' Update". IndieWire. Penske Business Media. Retrieved November 20, 2018.

External links[edit]