Creed II is a 2018 American sports drama film directed by Steven Caple Jr., and written by Sylvester Stallone and Juel Taylor. 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 33 years in the making, as Adonis Creed meets a new adversary; 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 on November 21, 2018. The film has grossed $34 million and received generally positive reviews from critics, who praised the cast and character development, calling it a "solid, if predictable" sequel.
Three years after his loss to "Pretty" Ricky Conlan, Adonis Creed scores a string of victories, culminating in a victory over Danny "Stuntman" Wheeler to win the 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's 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 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 and angry with all the recent developments in his life, Adonis rushes into the match, getting himself badly injured. Viktor is disqualified for hitting Adonis while he is down, allowing Adonis to retain the World Heavyweight Championship.
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-torture 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 realised 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 honour. Inspired by his own training in Krasnogourbinsk, 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, adapting to the kind of punishment he now knows he'll receive from Viktor in the ring.
The rematch 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. As the fight progresses, Adonis manages to land sequence after sequence of effective blows, knocking Viktor down twice in the same round. Viktor's mother (Ivan's ex-wife Ludmilla), who had been sitting ringside with some of Viktor's supporters, departs when the tide of the fight shifts in Adonis' favour, knocking Viktor off-balance emotionally. Seeing Viktor cornered and receiving multiple strikes without returning any blows, 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 him it is okay. Ivan seemingly comes to terms with earlier statements made by Viktor regarding the fair weathered nature of the same supporters who had also rejected him, and resolves that his relationship with his son is more important to him than his former glory.
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. Adonis visits Apollo’s grave along with Bianca and Amara, the latter of whom is sporting new hearing aids. He makes peace with his deceased father and the burden of carrying on his legacy.
- Michael B. Jordan as Adonis Creed: An underdog but talented light-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 the first film has become 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.
- Florian Munteanu as Viktor Drago: Drago'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: World light-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.
- Brigitte Nielsen as Ludmilla Drago: Ivan's wife and Viktor's mother.
- Milo Ventimiglia as Robert Balboa: Rocky's son, who moved to Vancouver in the period between Rocky Balboa and Creed.
- Russell Hornsby as Buddy Marcelle: A boxing promoter who sets up the match between Adonis Creed and Viktor Drago.
- Carl Weathers (in photos) as Apollo Creed