Romanian boxer Florian Munteanu has landed the pivotal role of Ivan Drago’s son in MGM’s highly-anticipated sequel Creed 2. The role will mark the boxer’s feature film debut, which was reported earlier today by The Tracking Board and confirmed by star Sylvester Stallone in an Instagram post. There had been rumors of Ivan Drago’s son featured in this sequel for months, with UFC fighter Sage Northcutt revealing in an interview that he auditioned to play Ivan Drago’s son back in early November. Here’s what Sylvester Stallone had to say on Instagram earlier today.
“Congratulations to Florian ‘Big Nasty’ Munteanu for getting the part as IVAN DRAGOS son! 27 years old , 6 feet four, 245 pounds of talent.#mgm #creed #creed2.”
We reported in October that Creed 2 will start production in February 2018, but this report reveals filming will start this March in Philadelphia, so there will likely be several more casting announcements to come. Michael B. Jordan will reprise his role as Adonis Creed, son of Carl Weathers’ Apollo Creed from the Rocky franchise, while Tessa Thompson is also coming back as Adonis’ girlfriend Bianca. Both Sylvester Stallone and Dolph Lundgren will also reprise their Rocky IV roles as Rocky Balboa and Ivan Drago, who both clashed in the iconic fight at the end of that movie, after Drago killed Apollo Creed in what was supposed to be an exhibition bout. There is no indication as of yet as to whether or not Brigitte Nielsen will reprise her Rocky IV character as Ludmilla.
Back in August, Dolph Lundgren teased his Ivan Drago training in an Instagram video, while Sylvester Stallone stating earlier that month that he will punch Drago at least once. Sylvester Stallone also confirmed in July that he had finished writing the screenplay for Creed 2, and at one point, it looked like he was being eyed to direct Creed 2 as well, stating on Instagram that he was looking forward to “directing and producing” the sequel. Just two months later, though, it was announced that up and coming director Steven Caple Jr. (The Land) had taken the reins for this sequel after being reportedly hand-picked by both Sylvester Stallone and Michael B. Jordan.
This report also reveals that Creed 2 will deal with Adonis Creed’s journey, “inside and outside of the ring as he deals with his newfound fame, issues with his family, and his continuing quest to become a champion”. MGM handed out a November 21, 2018 release date for Creed 2, which puts it in good shape for awards season consideration. The movie will open on the Wednesday before Thanksgiving this year, going up against Disney’s Ralph Breaks the Internet: Wreck-It Ralph 2 and Universal’s untitled project from director Robert Zemeckis. It also opens just five days after Warner Bros.’ highly-anticipated Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find them 2 on November 16.
Director Steven Caple Jr. will be working from a script written by both Sylvester Stallone and Cheo Hodari Coker (Luke Cage). Irwin Winkler, Charles Winkler and David Winkler are producing the sequel alongside William Chartoff and Kevin King-Templeton, with Michael B. Jordan serving as an executive producer with Guy Riedel and Ryan Coogler, who directed 2015’s Creed, which earned $173.5 million worldwide from a $35 million budget and earned Sylvester Stallone the Golden Globe and an Oscar nomination for his portrayal of Rocky Balboa. The Tracking Board broke the news on 27-year-old Florian Munteanu’s casting today. You can take a look at Sylvester Stallone’s Instagram post below where he congratulates the boxer, whose nickname is “Big Nasty.”