Sylvester Stallone Says ‘Creed’ Sequel Could Reunite Rocky and Apollo (EXCLUSIVE)

Rocky
Courtesy of MGM

After a successful comeback in “Creed,” which has grossed $103 million at the U.S. box office, Sylvester Stallone revealed in a new interview with Variety that he’s already getting ready to step back in the ring for another sequel where he’ll play Rocky Balboa.

MGM, which financed the Warner Bros. release with New Line, is onboard. “There’s no doubt that we’re making a ‘Creed 2,’” says MGM CEO Gary Barber.

It’s not clear if Ryan Coogler, who is in negotiations for Marvel’s “Black Panther,” will return as director of the next “Creed.” “I know Ryan is probably going to be gone for a couple years,” Stallone says. “So there will be a quandary on: Do we work with another director and have Ryan produce, or do we wait? There’s a diminishing time acceptance of a sequel. Now they are cranking them out in a year.”

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.”

Coogler is startled to hear that Stallone has already let the cat out of the bag about their plan. “Oh no!” he says with a sigh. “There are no secrets with Sly.” Jordan sounds more skeptical. “So it’s going to be a CGI-version of Sly?” he teases, adding that he’d like to be in the next film. “I’m trying to think about it. Knowing Ryan, he’ll find a clever way to make that work.”

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.”

For more from our interview with Stallone, read this week’s Variety cover story.

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  1. Hugo Danner says:

    How about Rocky ends up fighting Jason & Freddy Kruger. Just when Rocky is almost beat. We hear James Brown scream”HHHEEYYY!!” Living in America starts blasting & out of blinding lighting & thunder. We see Apollo Creed knock out both Jason Freddy!! Apollo ” Hey Stallone! I didn’t hear no bell!!” LOL WE see Adrianne, Pauly & Mick cheering Apollo & Rocky on!! Holy Dynamic Duos!!

  2. Misty says:

    Coming to the conversation late but just finished watching the whole franchise. Couple of thoughts… there seems to be a kind of mirroring effect of Rocky and Creed as the first installment where the hero actually loses to his opponent but wins by going the distance and earning his own self-respect by effectively upsetting the expectation that he would embarrass himself or be just a fluff exhibition opponent. I’m wondering if a rematch at some point would be possible with Conlin like the Apollo/Rocky rematch in RII, Just a quick thought but they could maybe work some angle where Conlin trains in prison and gets granted a furlough just for the fight (imagining the drama of him coming into the ring in cuffs and them unlocking him so he can fight) or it could take place in the prison itself, kinda Johnny Cash style or something. Hahaha Just a thought! Of course, Rocky dying seems like it is one the menu at some point too, fully passing the torch and mirroring Micky’s death as a devastating trial for the young Creed to overcome… another aspect of the guy in the mirror you are actually fighting. Anyway, love the franchise and really loved where they took things with the reboot. In a time where more often than not cynicism and nihilism wins out in an apocalyptic Fight Club kind of way it is good to see an example of straight forward emotional truth and generations passing down their wisdom and passion and the champion’s heart. I love that we see a young modern man reaching out and finding the mentor and father figure that IS there for him even though life and circumstance denied him that from his actual father.

  3. Ranae Ray says:

    I think they should bring back apolo and use the story that he took a bad beating from drago and ended up walking with a cane or walker for a long time or theoropy and was hidden and ashamed so rocky and family faked his death and his son adonis made him come out if hidding

  4. Larfette says:

    The samething Danny

  5. Larfette says:

    Part two should be about creed and the character he close his Mustang to.. it will be a interesting boxing movie

  6. A new fight for a title not long after having won a close one with Danny Wheeler. CREED 2 should have an adversary of his own who is a good guy and is looking for recognition after his father or uncle lost to Apollo Creed and was called a fraud or someone Apollo disrespected and is now using a new talent to put the son in shame. I would reserve anything related to Drago for later, but it would be awesome to have it now with an unexpected twist and more heart in the script. Like Ivan Drago having fallen in disgrace after been an Olympic champion and Russian officer and has now taken a Russian protege no one believe in, even if he is arrogant to right his wrongs. It would be awesome to have a perfect mix between a hard merciless/machine coach, who really cares about his pupil and is training him hard, without the use of enhancers. It would be nice to see Adonis out of balance with the man who ended his father in front of him. There are many more possibilities, but I hope the next CREED is just as funny and humane moving the story in an unexpected direction.

  7. Matt O says:

    Adonis Creed vs Ivan Drago Jr., who wouldn’t like another Drago to fight Adonis?

  8. I pray that this rumor never comes to fruition. I think Creed set itself up perfectly for a sequel: Creed has established himself in the boxing ranks with that fight, yet, and SPOILER ALERT…

    The guy who was next in line for that title shot was that Wheeler kid from Creed’s gym, who ended up pulling out of the fight thanks to a broken jaw. Conlin has likely fought his last fight, meaning the title will be vacated and Wheeler should fight for the title in the sequel.

    Adonis went a full 12 with the number 1 ranked fighter in the world and in the process became a big name draw. Wheeler previously knocked his head off his shoulders in the beginning of the movie.

    One of the themes throughout the movie was Adonis’ struggle to step out of his father’s shadow, and it would be quite symbolic if his path leads him back to Los Angeles to Apollo’s gym in a fight against it’s top fighter; a man who has beat him previously (albeit an unsanctioned fight); an undefeated fighter who was the number 2 pound for pound fighter in the world, and whose lead trainer is Adonis’ (brother?) or at least a friend of the family, who refused to train him and forced his move to Philadelphia.

    It’s just a thought, but it makes perfect sense: Creed’s gym, his legacy, versus Creed’s own blood, who wants desperately to be his own man, and whose name became a roadblock in his path towards that. In a way, Adonis shifted from Creed’s legacy to becoming Balboa’s legacy throughout the movie (it was brought up when Adonis questioned Balboa about his son in the picture, with Rocky revealing that his son never took to boxing and seemingly became estranged from his father after his mother passed). It almost becomes a Rocky vs Creed 4, with neither man actually having to step foot in the ring again.

    • Don says:

      Brilliant idea, can say he beat Creed when he was running his mouth and claim he slid into his spot and battle for their vacated title.

  9. Nancy says:

    I agree with Tony, there’s a lot of characters you can’t forget about, not a fan of the big Russian idea, personally think they killed Talia too soon but the video link user “Tony” sent is very cool, I’m gonna so help this young man’s idea!

    • brendan2k5 says:

      Good call on Wheeler. He could definitely be brought back to fight Adonis in CREED 2. Hell, they’d be able to meld this into the flashback storyline being brainstormed and STILL use Carl Weathers (the actor who played Apollo in Rocky I through IV).

      As the fight between Donny and Wheeler is built, Rocky connects with Apollo’s trainer (can’t remember his name at the moment), who is now training Wheeler for his fight with Donny. They talk about the old days and the trainer admits he was wrong to diss “The Kid”. Both men agree the fight between Donny and Wheeler will be to decide who is worthy of carrying on Apollo’s legacy. There can only be one Creed and the fight will decide once and for all which of them is worthy to fight in his name.

      Later on, Mary Ann tells Donny about what happened to his father after he lost the championship to Rocky in the second movie. He disappeared for a while and it was during this time Apollo met his mother and she became pregnant with Donny. She never said a word because she knew he needed his space at the time. Shortly after learning about the pregnancy, Apollo returns to Philly in time to see Rocky, one of the few fighters he truly respected lose the belt to Clubber Lang (Rocky III). He knew Rocky wasn’t giving it his all in the fight given Mickey’s death and this is why he decided to take him back to LA and help him train. She references the private fight between them, saying he’ll have to find out the rest from Rocky.

      Donny gets a call from Bianca (who is back in Philly), who tells him she just learned her hearing loss has become worse and she may have to quit writing music. Donny returns to Philly where he learns her only hope is an expensive operation she can’t afford. There is an amateur fight he could enter and win the money for the operation but he knows that if he gets seriously injured, it could hurt his chances of fighting Wheeler. Donny asks Rocky for advice and he tells him he should follow his heart and he’ll respect whatever he decides.

      Donny decides to enter the fight and wins the pot but badly sprains his right hand. The damage will heal but he may not be 100% in time for the big fight. To complicate matters, the media picked up on his fight and his injury. Despite the press, Donny is still committed to the big fight but knows he can’t fight as well without the use of is dominant hand. So he asks Rocky for a favor: “Teach me to fight like you did. Teach me to fight as a Southpaww”.

      Rocky is happy to teach him but first he tells Donny the full story about the third fight between him and Apollo. It’s revealed the fight was more physical than their previous two bouts. They didn’t hold back while sparring. Apollo won but by a very thin margin, knocking Rocky out in the middle of the practice ring. When he comes to, Apollo tells hilm he would have been the one out cold if he didn’t review the tape from their first two fights. It also helped Creed taught him the moves he used to beat Clubber Land as well. After washing up, Apollo tells Rocky about a boxer in the Soviet Union he’s been hearing rumors about. This sets the stage for Creed 3.

      Anyway back in the present, Donny is there to see Bianca wake up. The operation was a success and she can hear without hearing aids now. Donny asks her to marry him. She says yes but after he wins his upcoming fight. Donny then leaves to train with Rocky in LA. During their training, Donny’s right hand fully recovers. Realizing he could use this to his advantage, he decides to keep this a secret until the fight.

      When the big fight finally happens, Donny fights as a Souhpaw. This gets mixed reactions as everyone knows he’s being trained by Rocky and some know about the injury on his right hand. In the fight’s climax, Donny switches to his right hand, catching wheeler off guard and knocking down for the count to 10. Donny wins the match and becomes the new champion.

      After the fight, Donny and Bianca are married. Donny decides to move to Philly so he can be with Rocky and his new wife but promises to visit LA. Upon returning home, Rocky finds a letter from sitting in his mailbox from Russia. The sender: Ivan Drago. Rocky gets flashbacks to the match the ended in Apollo’s death and his own match with the Soviet Union’s prize fighter. That hellish match nearly broke his body and probably shortened his lifespan.

    • Joe says:

      The trainer from delphi is actually Duke’s son.

  10. Anything to get Carl Weathers back in the game, he’s sorely missed!!

  11. Tony Tom says:

    How does everyone forgot about Burt Young aka Paulie? I found this actor/writer kid from Chicago’s “Creed 2 Character Concept Teaser” and its insane, THIS is where the franchise should go, #PauliesNotDead , check this out 2https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pJ8lW6euF9A , it’s a must watch

  12. Rama says:

    Not another Russian! Ok, you just lost me. #triteandstupid

  13. Nikki says:

    Someone please tell Stallone that he’should about to kill that franchise. He needs to fade to black. Michael Jordan is the way the of franchise moving forward. If michael Jordan is put in the ring with the Russian fighter the franchise is dead.. Stallone is stuck in the previous millennium.

  14. Bill B. says:

    Oh, I could cry reading this. This series is like cock roaches. No way to end them.

  15. Fred says:

    Actually, I think that Adonis Creed should fight Chewbacca. The plot twist would be when we find out that He is actually a Skywalker when Adiran’s force ghost appears in the ring of the championship fight and spills the beans to Adonis. Yeah….that would be awesome!

  16. Felix Millan says:

    Wait for Coogler! Or have Stallone direct.
    I’d rather wait, and pay money for another great entry to the series compared to having a lesser quality entry next year.
    Wait and do it right!

  17. Wittier says:

    The headline is a spoiler because they indicated the creed was about Rocky’s mortality when Stallone was on The Tonight Show

  18. Rob Taylor says:

    Nah, I always felt that Drago should have been like Spider, came to America after his country rejected him, hated, down on his luck… if Rocky dies that would be a very interesting dynamic for the film, to have Adonis seek out Ivan and he become the mentor… Dolph could pull that off pretty well.

    • Trevor says:

      I did not like your idea upon first read. After taking a moment to think of Dolph reprising his most iconic role, taking a new turn as good guy mentor, I absolutely love it! Who better to take over for Rocky as mentor? Clubber Lang? No.

    • Chris F says:

      @Rob Taylor I was thinking something similar to what you’re saying.

  19. Rocky James says:

    I feel what Sly is saying is a great idea in wanting to have Adonis to experience the same hardships that Rocky faced from previous movies. One idea that comes to mind is using Adonis’ love interest’s hearing ailment as an emotional attachment to a set back in his career like in Rocky 3. Of course her having a sharp painful experience which leads to her going completely deaf (Prior or during a fight) really doesn’t compare to Rocky losing Mickey before his Clubber Lang bout. However it could cause Adonis to really question his career and the risk of injuries that come with it. Or maybe it just reveals to us how much he loves her and that he is willing to give it all up to be by her side through her battle. Ultimately her love for Adonis would be matched when she talks him into getting back on the other side the ropes as we see an epic comeback like Sly in Rocky 3. I don’t know. Just a thought!

    • Hector Rivas says:

      I say Adonis Creed comes back and the story focuses on him fighting russian champ Ivan Drago Jr! Avenge fathers death. “If he dies he dies.”

  20. raven says:

    Creed was SO good, movie of the year IMO.
    I love the idea of Rocky and Apollo re-uniting…let’s let Rocky pass. The poor guy is miserable and alone. Move the franchise forward

    • Mither Pucker says:

      I thought Rocky was dating a chick in Rocky Balboa… ol redhead penny from the block. What happened to her? And what about her son. He coulda been a contenda …

  21. John says:

    Can we please be done with this franchise? Enough already!

    • NOOOOOOO says:

      THERES NEVER ENOUGH!! MICHAEL B JORDAN IS SO FINE, HOW COULD YOU EVEN DAAAARE TO SAY THIS??!! I CANT!!!!

    • Muther pucker says:

      Then rocky movies are all great and Inspiring films. As long as they keep being good, why end them. You can always not watch then if you are annoyed.

  22. robersoncw says:

    They have a chance to really cement Michael B. Jordan’s place in the whole Rocky universe if they continue on with Adonis’ story. I fear that if they did a prequel thing with Rocky and Apollo, the momentum behind Adonis will be lost. If they feel that they absolutely must do some prequel stuff, I’d suggest throwing in a couple of flashbacks here and there while keeping the main focus on Adonis evolving into a boxing star or something like that.

    • Phillipa says:

      Not sure, of course, but I imagine that is what Coogler & Stallone mean when they talk about reuniting Apollo and Rocky – as flashbacks, using the CGI technology they used on Michael Douglas in Ant-Man, perhaps. Rocky cannot be the main focus of the new movie – it is, after all, Creed II. It should remain Adonis’s story with Rocky as a supporting player.

  23. Edwardo says:

    Rocky versus Godzilla Why hasn’t this been made? Can Rocky be in the next Star Wars/Star Trek flick? Make it so.

  24. Pixworks says:

    I mean this in the best way possible, but Rocky needs to die in Creed 2. I don’t think they should continue to keep him on as he slowly dies and make a big deal about it. And knowing the character of Rocky, I think now that his training with Adonis is really done, he’s ready to join Adrien, Paulie, Mickey, and Apollo.

    • Jake says:

      It would be interesting to see what happens. I remember reading that Stallone wanted Rocky to die in 5, but the studio said no, Rocky is like Superman, he DOES NOT DIE EVER.

      While it makes sense story wise, I’m not sure it will happen, but money talks, so who knows. If it were to happen, I’m sure for some it would leave a sour taste in their mouth.

    • Phillipa says:

      For me I would hate to see Rocky Balboa die on screen. He is an iconic and beloved movie character and I have no wish to see that happen. If Creed ends up being a trilogy, perhaps they can suggest that is what happens to Rocky at the end of the third movie, off-screen. Seeing it on screen would be too tough to take for many, many viewers.

  25. dji says:

    i think it’s time to stop all the rocky stuff. can’t this guy do anything else of consequence? personally i lost interest in stalone many years ago.

  26. Colin says:

    I would think the clear setup for the sequel opponent would be the fighter who knocked Adonis out in one of the opening scenes. His character was identified on screen as one of the top fighetrs in the world, was being trained by “Duke” Tony’s son. Being a top fighter and knocking out the hero of the movie couldn’t have been a better setup for a sequel.

  27. cadavra says:

    Didn’t Stallone already do GRUDGE MATCH?

    • brendan2k5 says:

      Yes, opposite Robert DeNiro. It wasn’t his idea if I remember but he agreed to do it as long as he wasn’t playing Rocky. He didn’t want to do a cross-promotion since the Rocky franchise is HIS baby.

  28. Alex says:

    I’d like to see and it would make sense to see Adonis take on A Russian son from the guy who killed Apollo!

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