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Michael B. Jordan says Creed II will not just be about revenge

After steering the ROCKY franchise down the slippery slope of diminishing returns, Sylvester Stallone brought the franchise back in 2006 with the much-acclaimed ROCKY BALBOA. It seemed to be a nice conclusion to the series, but Stallone wasn't done, as he brought Rocky back once again for CREED, a hugely successful spin-off which focused on Adonis Creed (Michael B. Jordan), the son of Apollo Creed (Carl Weathers). A sequel was soon announced which would connect with ROCKY IV and bring back Ivan Drago (Dolph Lundgren), the man who killed Apollo in the ring, as well as his son, Viktor Drago (Florian Munteanu).

Despite the obvious bad blood between Apollo and the Drago's, Michael B. Jordan told The Toronto Sun that the sequel won't just be about getting revenge.

Victor’s storyline is very layered. The two guys are similar in a lot of ways… Adonis feels, naturally, a certain animosity towards Viktor and Ivan, and then there are other themes in there: the maturity of growth, the importance of family, of legacy, is what makes Creed so special. It’s not just about revenge. It’s about a lot of things… If we get that lesson across, then I think we’ve made a pretty special movie.

Michael B. Jordan added that Sylvester Stallone was "very adamant" about having a real villain this time around. "Drago was so huge in Rocky IV and he really (put a stamp) on the franchise at that time," Jordan said. "So we wanted to make a sequel that was bigger. It’s always tough to shoot a number two to anything, but we wanted to do a fresh take. We didn’t have a real villain the first time around. That was more of an origin story with Adonis fighting himself to figure out who he was. This time, I think we found the perfect vehicle to build on that and take it to the next level."

Speaking of taking things to the next level, Jordan was about getting back into shape for the sequel, which he says was a little bit harder this time around. "(Gaining muscle) was easier when I was younger. I’m 31 and I shot the first one when I was 26, 27. I’m not saying I’m old by any means, but the process of getting in shape was a bit harder for Creed II," Jordan said. "For Black Panther, I had to get bigger… I’m probably the biggest I’ve ever been… But I knew I was fighting someone who is a lot bigger than I am, so I wanted to try and catch up as best I could, and I killed myself in the gym to do that."

The official synopsis for CREED II:

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.

CREED II will hit theaters on November 21, 2018.

Source: The Toronto Sun

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