What: The first trailer for Creed II.
Who: Michael B. Jordan, Tessa Thompson, Sylvester Stallone.
Why we care: The first Creed was, by most accounts, better than it had any right to be. What could have been a clumsy continuation of the geriatric Rocky franchise instead rejuvenated it by thrusting the series in an entirely different direction–under new management. By trusting in ascendant writer/director Ryan Coogler’s vision, Stallone set himself up to give perhaps his greatest acting performance yet in a stylish sports drama/paternal tearjerker. Now that Coogler has departed for the greener pastures of Black Panther and beyond, the sequel to Creed was scripted by Stallone himself and Luke Cage writer Cheo Hodari Coker, and was directed by Steven Caple Jr. The first trailer makes it seem that audiences are in good hands.
With a stirring reworking of Kendrick Lamar’s 2017 hit, “DNA,” as soundtrack, the Creed II trailer catches us up with Jordan’s brooding pugilist. He now has a child with Thompson’s Bianca, and is gearing up for the fight of his young life. In case the franchise needed any further nostalgia beyond Stallone and the occasional image of Carl Weathers’ Apollo to lure in skeptical franchise fans, the new film revives the old series’ greatest villain, Ivan Drago–along with his son. (O.G. Drago, Dolph Lundgren, is listed on IMDB but does not appear in the trailer.)
Get ready to cry into your father’s shoulder when Creed II drops this Thanksgiving, but for now watch the trailer below.