Look, by now everyone knows that Ryan Coogler’s Creed is amazing and it’s pretty impossible to top. But, what Steven Caple Jr. has done with Creed II is legitimately remarkable in its own right. Have you seen Rocky IV lately? Yeah, it’s a lot of fun, but it’s also ridiculous. Rocky IV has a surprisingly short running time of 90 minutes. so there’s not a lot of room for new character development beyond the nonstop montages. So, what Caple had to do here was take characters from a movie that’s almost a cartoon, and then adapt them for a Creed sequel that fits the tone of the first Creed movie. And, yet, here’s Creed II, a movie that features the return of Ivan Drago and it somehow works.
We’ll have more with Caple, later in the week after Creed II is released in theaters for a more spoiler-y discussion about the events of the film. But, in the meantime, Caple has dreams of future Creed stories. And, no joke, he’s been considering the return of Mr. T’s Clubber Lang.
I’ve read you had to be talked into directing this movie. I’m glad they convinced you. People like it.
People do like it, man. Yeah, obviously that’s gratifying. I mean, I’m assuming you like the franchise?
Except Rocky V. I do not like Rocky V.
It was crazy, that’s the first one I saw.
What? Oh, no.
But I was a kid, so I didn’t have the same reaction as critics necessarily. I thought it was like a cool flick at five years old. Even with Rocky V just because it is a chapter in his life I can learn to appreciate it just because I’m just a Rocky fan I guess. You know, you just worry when you hear sequels and stuff like that, and I was. Is this just a money grab situation where the first one did so well? Are we just going to toss out a second one just for the hell of it? I really want to treat it with care, you know what I mean? And they allowed me to and that was refreshing.
Before you were even attached, I remember Stallone saying, “Oh, the next one Drago is back,” and I remembered thinking of all the ways that could be bad. Because how do you combine Rocky IV and Creed? You somehow did that.
Exactly. How do you tap for that huge commercial appeal where everything is kind of over the top and the story is very surface? It’s very much good guy, bad guy, nothing else. The movie has probably like five montages. Granted, it’s still one of my favorites, because Apollo dies in it and it’s like come on, let’s go get revenge. Again, as a fanatic. But when you hear that you’re like, “Wow, but Creed did something in 2015 was it that felt different.” And you didn’t want to lose that groundedness. So with the Dragos, as soon as I got the script, I started tackling that. How the hell do we make the Dragos different in 2018?
That was the first thing as soon as I got the script. That and Adonis Creed’s journey, making sure it just wasn’t about revenge. I didn’t want him to be that cliché. And he’s a black character, too, so I didn’t really want a character on screen that just felt like that super bold and flashy guy who has a new house now and he’s so stubborn. We were totally trying to gear and steer away from that and make it a little bit more deeper on both sides.