Warning: spoilers for Creed II are in play. If you're not caught up with the film, bookmark this page, and come back once you're current.
By the end of Creed II, Adonis "Donnie" Creed defeats Viktor Drago in the film's climactic fight in Russia, and the victory couldn't be sweeter. After a first attempt left the newly crowned heavyweight champion severely beaten, and in need of recovery, the rousing final battle delivers the victory he'd been searching for earlier in the film.
But with this victory in the bag, partially thanks to his fiancee Bianca's understanding that it was something he had to get out of his system, one has to wonder just what would bring Adonis back into the ring for a potential Creed III. CinemaBlend got to ask Michael B. Jordan himself where he felt the stakes would have to be set for the sequel, and he had this to say:
I would love to see these characters live on, from film to film to film. So I'm not really sure where he'd go next right now. Didn't think about it too much. But it'd be really cool to see these characters grow.
Not knowing where to go for a Creed III story may sound like a disappointment to some. However, considering the history of the Rocky franchise, it's also a rather refreshing development. As much as this new film sets the table for some interesting pathways to a third film in the Creed series, it is realistically too soon to peg any sort of story out.
Creed II is poised to continue the good name of the franchise, and bring in a hell of a Thanksgiving result. So the conventional approach would be to, obviously, develop a sequel quickly and fast track it into production. But from the word go, the Creed series has been both eager and cautious to move forward in its storytelling.
After all, it took until 2017 to get any sort of indication that a sequel would be officially forming, and that's two whole years after Creed brought the world of Rocky back to life. Ultimately, the challenge for Creed III would be the same as the one that everyone, especially Michael B. Jordan, faced when coming back for Creed II.
The next film has to serve a purpose that isn't cheesy, maintains the freshness of the franchise, and above all else, keeps audience and film-maker alike interested with an organic premise. With Adonis getting pretty badly beaten in the first match with Viktor Drago, only to finally beat him in a similarly grueling rematch, it'd take a really good reason to bring this new father into the ring once again.
It's something you can even see in watching footage of Jordan's body language talking about a potential sequel, which you can see below:
Should Creed III happen in the near, or even not so near, future, it sounds like Michael B. Jordan won't be signing on unless there's a good reason to proceed. Finding that good reason is going to take some time, though there are certainly some threads left open for Creed III to potentially make that trilogy magic happen. For now though, you can enjoy Creed II, which is in theaters now, ready to pump you up for a champion's Thanksgiving.