First Trailer for CREED II Starring Michael B. Jordan

There is both much to be excited and much to be pessimistic about when it comes to Creed II. This sequel to the 2015 Ryan Coogler-directed film that continued the story of former World Heavyweight Champion Rocky Balboa as he served as a trainer to Adonis Johnson, the son of his late friend Apollo Creed, is a sequel MGM and Warner Bros. wanted to move forward with despite Coogler's obligation to Marvel and Black Panther. That is the first point of concern as Coogler, who had made only one feature prior to Creed, the cutting Fruitvale Station (also starring Michael B. Jordan), is/was a voice on the rise and it was his touch that made Creed a vital part of the Balboa mythology rather than just another way to capitalize on a known brand. For the sequel, the studios brought in Steven Caple Jr. who has also only directed only a single feature thus far, but has a fair amount of TV work on his résumé including episodes of Grown-ish and the documentary miniseries, Rapture, about hip-hop's impact on global culture that is now available to stream on Netflix. I haven't seen any of Caple's previous work, but judging by the look and feel of this first trailer it seems the guy has a capable pair of hands that this franchise has thankfully been placed in. They say the greatest weapon in a director's arsenal is a strategically placed song and even if Caple had no input on the trailer itself the use of Kendrick Lamar‘s “DNA” is a perfect pairing that indicates what is hopefully the overall tone and style of the picture. The other aspect that is somewhat concerning is the fact Sylvester Stallone penned the script for this thing along with Luke Cage scribe Cheo Hodari Coker, but to what degree they collaborated is unknown. Yes, it's a nice thought the writer/director/star of the original Rocky film has such a heavy hand in continuing the arc of characters born out of his original franchise, but given the plot details we know thus far it seems reasonable to worry this might be a re-hash of what has come before rather than Jordan's Adonis and his family unit making the franchise their own. Then again, I did enjoy 2013's Homefront so what do I know? All of that said, this trailer is indeed pretty great and if the final film carries out the energy and drama hinted at here I can't imagine being disappointed in what Caple, Stallone, and Coker have cooked up. Creed II also stars Florian Munteanu, Dolph Lundgren, Tessa Thompson, Phylicia Rashad, Wood Harris, Andre Ward, Russell Hornsby, and opens November 21st, 2018.



Synopsis: Life has become a balancing act for Adonis Creed. Between personal obligations and training for his next big fight, he is up against the challenge of his life. Facing an opponent with ties to his family’s past only intensifies his impending battle in the ring. Rocky Balboa is there by his side through it all and, together, Rocky and Adonis will confront their shared legacy, question what’s worth fighting for, and discover that nothing’s more important than family. Creed II is about going back to basics to rediscover what made you a champion in the first place, and remembering that, no matter where you go, you can’t escape your history.