Starring:Michael B. Jordan, Sylvester Stallone, Tessa Thompson, Wood Harris, Phylicia Rashad, Florian Munteanu, Dolph Lundgren
Release dates: November 21, 2018 (United States)
Running time: 130 minutes
Country: United States
Budget: $50 million
Box office: $214.1 million
IMDb Rating: 7.1/10 (139K)
Creed II is a 2018 American sports drama film that serves as the eighth installment in the Rocky film series. Directed by Steven Caple Jr. and written by Juel Taylor and Sylvester Stallone, the movie features Michael B. Jordan, Stallone, Tessa Thompson, Wood Harris, Phylicia Rashad, Florian Munteanu, and Dolph Lundgren in prominent roles. The story follows Adonis Creed (Jordan) as he faces off against Viktor Drago (Munteanu), son of Ivan Drago (Lundgren), under the guidance of Rocky Balboa (Stallone).
The movie was confirmed as a sequel to Creed in January 2016 but was delayed due to scheduling conflicts between Ryan Coogler, the director of the first film, and Jordan, who were both involved in Black Panther. Stallone replaced Coogler as the writer of the screenplay, which was completed in July 2017. Caple took over as the director in December, with Coogler serving as an executive producer. Principal photography took place primarily in Philadelphia from March to June 2018, with the rest of the cast returning, including Thompson, Rashad, and Lundgren.
Creed II premiered at the Lincoln Center in New York City on November 14, 2018, and was released in the United States by Mirror Releasing and internationally by Warner Bros. Pictures on November 21. The film received positive reviews from critics for its performances, character development, and direction by Caple, although some noted its predictability. It also performed well commercially, grossing $214 million worldwide.
Creed III, directed by Jordan in his directorial debut, was released on March 3, 2023.
In 2017, Adonis "Donnie" Creed, along with his trainer Rocky Balboa, has been on a winning streak, having won six consecutive fights, culminating in a victory over Danny "Stuntman" Wheeler for the WBC World Heavyweight Championship. He has also won back his 1967 Ford Mustang, which he had lost in a bet to Wheeler. With his worldwide fame, Donnie proposes to his girlfriend, Bianca Taylor, who suggests starting a new life in Los Angeles. However, Donnie is hesitant to leave Philadelphia and Rocky.
Meanwhile, Ivan Drago, the former Soviet boxer who killed Donnie's father Apollo Creed in a fight in 1985, has been living in poverty in Ukraine. He is determined to regain his former glory and enlists his son, Viktor, to challenge Donnie. When Rocky refuses to support Donnie's decision to accept the challenge, Donnie and Bianca move to Los Angeles.
As they settle into their new home, Bianca discovers she is pregnant, and Donnie recruits Tony "Little Duke" Evers to train him for the upcoming match. However, Donnie is unprepared for the fight and sustains serious injuries. Viktor is disqualified for hitting Donnie while he is down, allowing Donnie to retain the championship. Despite his win, Donnie becomes increasingly distant from Bianca, and Mary Anne, Apollo's widow, reaches out to Rocky to train Donnie for a rematch against Viktor.
Bianca gives birth to a daughter, Amara, who is born deaf. Rocky becomes Amara's godfather, and Donnie is retrained by Rocky and Little Duke in the California desert. Meanwhile, Viktor is facing pressure from his father and gaining popularity in Russia. At a state dinner, Ivan and Viktor encounter Ludmilla, Viktor's mother and Ivan's ex-wife, for the first time in years. This encounter upsets Viktor, and Ivan realizes his son's earlier words are true.
In the rematch in Moscow, Donnie, and Viktor exchange equal blows. Donnie endures a heavy beating from Viktor, but he uses this to his advantage, and in the tenth round, he knocks Viktor down twice. Finally realizing his son's safety is more important than revenge or acceptance, Ivan throws in the towel, forfeiting the fight to protect him. Bianca joins Donnie in the ring to celebrate his victory, and Rocky watches from outside the ring.
After the match, Viktor and Ivan train together in Ukraine, and Rocky travels to Vancouver to reconcile with his son. Donnie and Bianca visit Apollo's grave, and Donnie makes peace with his father's legacy as they introduce Amara to her new hearing aids.