April 2 (UPI) — Production began Monday in Philadelphia on Creed II, with Michael B. Jordan and Sylvester Stallone reprising their roles of Adonis Creed and Rocky Balboa.
Steven Caple Jr., who helmed 2016’s The Land, is directing the latest installment in the Rocky boxing saga, which dates back to 1976. Stallone wrote the screenplay for the latest film, a collaboration between MGM and Warner Bros.
Director Ryan Coogler, who directed 2015’s Creed, serves as an executive producer on Creed II, which is due to open in theaters Nov. 21. Returning for the follow-up are Tessa Thompson as Bianca, Phylicia Rashad as Mary Anne, Wood Harris as Tony “Little Duke” Burton and Andre Ward as Danny “Stuntman” Wheeler.
“When I wrote and directed Creed, I wanted to tell a human story about a family from a new perspective, while also paying homage to the Rocky characters we’ve all grown up knowing and loving. I’ve known Steven was an amazing filmmaker since our days at USC film school together, so I can’t wait to see what he, Sly, Mike and Tessa bring to this next chapter,” Coogler said in a statement.
“It’s an honor to be a part of the franchise and work with such a thoughtful team. I got involved because I’ve always been a Rocky fan and I enjoy stories with heart and substance. But when Ryan put his touch on Creed I felt another level of connection to the franchise. It started to feel personal for many different reasons. This next Creed is a tale beyond the boxing ring and dives deep into family, legacy, and fears. I’m excited to share my view and collaborate with the talented cast and crew,” Caple Jr. added.
“Ryan and Steven are voices for their generation and their shared vision for Creed has brought the Rocky franchise to an entirely new audience. We know audiences will continue to embrace the legacy that Sly created so many years ago,” said producer Irwin Winkler.
Creed II will also feature Florian “The Big Nasty” Munteanu as Viktor Drago and Dolph Lundgren as Ivan Drago, the villain he played in 1985’s Rocky IV.
Stallone posted a video on Instagram from the film’s set, showing off the fancy trailer where he hangs out between scenes.
“You know the old cliché that it seems like yesterday and but it does and it’s a very exciting moment to be here getting ready to Watch Creed 2 to commence filming,” Stallone wrote in a message accompanying the clip. “A very exciting day!!! The actors and production team has been waiting a long Time for this film to start, so ladies and gentlemen get ready to watch the fists startFLYING! #MGM #rockybalboa #CREED2.”