Sports films don't often have the best villains, but in the case of 1985's Rocky IV, Dolph Lundgren's portrayal of Soviet boxing heavyweight machine Ivan Drago was the genuine article. By killing Apollo Creed in the ring, his actions would set a course for the remainder of the franchise where the orphaned son would eventually follow in his footsteps three decades later.
2015's drama/spinoff Creed was lauded by fans and critics who saw more than an extension of the world Sylvester Stallone created. It established Michael B. Jordan as a flag-bearer for the series moving forward but for the original star, he teased on social media this week a match-up for the ages.
Drago v Creed 2: Revenge in the Ring
While the likelihood of 59-year old Swede Lundgren going around again with the gloves against a younger, fitter opponent appear ridiculous, Stallone's post for Creed 2 was far from ambiguous.
"Here's a chance to stretch your imagination," he wrote below a mashup image of 1985's Lundgren glaring at Jordan. "HISTORY WILL ALWAYS REPEAT ITSELF IN ONE FORM OR ANOTHER, JUST GOT TO BE READY! ... Sins of the Father.... #creed2 # agentnickyc."
The key phrase here should very well be "in one form or another" as the Russians could be constructing a new challenger with the help of Drago. The fourth installment did play into stereotypical Cold War fears and perhaps the studio are attempting to play into that dynamic yet again.
What holds more weight in this instance is Stallone's growing role in the Creed world. Having come back as a supporting actor for director Ryan Coogler's production, the filmmaker is now all hands on deck for Marvel's Black Panther. That leaves Stallone in the favored position of director and with a final say on narrative and casting, there is clearly an appetite to revisit Mr. Drago.
Sly Hangs Loose With Expendables Crew
The veteran Hollywood icon is obviously one of the most popular men in his industry. After showing up for Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2, the 70-year old caught up with a number of his Expendables co-stars.
"Talk about a rough crowd!" he said. "When we get together, it's like an action movie for real!"
Sitting next to Jean-Claude Van Damme, Jason Statham, Arnold Schwarzenegger and Lundgren, he was in star-studded company. His Escape Plan colleague would come out in support of Stallone for the franchise to argue that there is no Expendables without the action hero earlier this year.
Obviously that backing has not wavered one bit.