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CREED II ON THE DRAWING BOARD

The internet has been abuzz lately with rumors of even more Creed films being in the works following the release of the first spinoff film in the Rocky movie series. In an October 29 bit of Hollywood gossip about Creed, Mike Reyes of CinemaBlend revealed: “The Irwin Winkler-produced film … is so good, and everyone in it is said to be so appealing, that ‘Creed II’ is on the drawing boards, and don’t think a third part isn’t as well.” This tidbit was gleaned from the writer’s run-in with Rocky producer Irwin Winkler.

But can we really expect a sequel … of a spinoff?

Historically speaking, spinoffs don’t typically fare all that well at the box office, so what chance a sequel to a spinoff has of gaining momentum isn’t terribly promising. However, Sylvester Stallone himself, at a press conference atop the steps of the Philadelphia Museum of Art intimated that a Creed sequel may indeed be in the cards.

“There’s more to go,” Sly said of Rocky while speaking to the press alongside stars Michael B. Jordan and Tessa Thompson. “I would like to follow this character until eventually he’s an angel.”

Stallone is now the same age that Burgess Meredith was when he took on the role of Rocky’s crusty old trainer, Mickey Goldmill, motivizating the Italian Stallion to victory in the ring and in life. Following the character’s death in Rocky III, Mickey still remained a presence in every one of the Rocky sequels, even on into Creed to a degree. So, perhaps if written very delicately, Rocky Balboa can continue to live on should a sequel be made, making Sly’s wish a reality … and maybe giving Rocky a turn at being the angel on Adonis’ shoulder.

Creed’s box office performance will help make the decision as to whether we’ll be seeing more of Adonis Creed – and maybe even Rocky – as will the movie’s popularity with not only Rocky fans, but with the general moviegoing public. The trick will be for Creed to gain its own unique following of fans apart from those already in Rocky’s corner.

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WHAT IF ‘CREED’ WERE JUST ANOTHER BOXING MOVIE?

So what if Creed presented itself as a dramatic boxing film, following the lead of Southpaw, rather than drawing on the fame of the Rocky franchise – could the movie still hold up? By all accounts, writer / director Ryan Coogler has penned a dramatic and well-rounded screenplay, that’s for sure, but is it gripping enough to capture the attention of audiences outside those in the Rockyverse?

Let’s put it another way. If the names of Rocky Balboa and Apollo Creed were removed from the story, and the plot remained otherwise exactly the same – even down to the fact of Sylvester Stallone playing a retired boxer  – could the film stand on its own two legs? If so, Warner Brothers may have a big winner on their hands. If Creed can define its own legacy, distinct from Rocky’s, then the spinoff has a chance to survive and potentially continue with sequels of its own.

Interestingly, a report from an advance screening of the film gives the impression that the Creed storyline wraps itself up neatly at the conclusion of the film, and doesn’t really demand a sequel. Plus, a Creed II and Creed III would hinge upon audiences falling in love with the Adonis Creed character to such a degree that they just can’t get enough of him and his journey. Though we’re pretty biased with a name like Total Rocky, it’s plain to see that Rocky Balboa is one of the most heroic and inspirational characters in cinema history. Rocky’s shockwaves affect pop culture as well as the lives of countless individuals who have been moved, touched or motivated by this unique character and his outlook on life. He’s a relatable, realistic superhero, unlike Superman, James Bond and Indiana Jones, and its safe to say that the majority of his die-hard fans tend to think of Rocky as a real person, someone we’ve watched from afar and lived with for the past 40 years. Clearly, that’s a special, special creation, and bravo to the brilliant Sylvester Stallone for designing him back in 1975.

Such a beloved figure comes along once in a lifetime and certainly isn’t something that can be manufactured or replicated in any way. This is not to say that Adonis Creed can’t be as likeable or cool or inspirational as his famous mentor, except that it’s going to be – it’s GOT to be – in a very different way. Adonis Creed may just be powerful enough to inspire a whole new generation with a whole new set of challenges that differ to those that Rocky faced back in the simpler time he came from. Let’s see how it all happens on November 25.