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Rocky Fans Get Some Exciting News About An Intriguing Creed Spin-Off

The "Rocky" franchise is getting a new cinematic ring partner, with reports of a "Creed" spin-off now officially coming to fruition. For those who haven't seen the boxing films, "Creed" and "Creed 2" center around the life and fighting career of Adonis "Donnie" Creed (Michael B. Jordan) in the wake of his father's death in "Rocky IV." Former world champion Rocky Balboa (Sylvester Stallone) helps train and steer the 2nd-generation boxer to fame — and a world title — years after his own legendary run in the "Rocky" movies, which culminated with 2006's "Rocky Balboa." Now, it appears that fans of the Oscar-winning franchise will be getting another inside look at someone from both the "Creed" and "Rocky" films — Ivan Drago (Dolph Lundgren) — with reps from MGM revealing some exciting new details about his "Drago" spin-off on Thursday, July 28. 

For those who didn't see it, "Creed 2" featured the on-screen return of the infamous "Rocky IV" baddie and saw his son, Viktor, take on Donnie for the WBC World Heavyweight Championship. Capitalizing off the bad blood between the Dragos and Creeds, with Apollo's (Carl Weathers) in-ring death at the hands of Ivan serving as a main focal point, the movie wound up being a critical and financial success (via Box Office Mojo/Rotten Tomatoes). So it only made sense to peel back the creative curtain and tell one of the last "Rocky" stories left to tell.

Drago spin-off to focus on both father and son, will be produced by MGM

Details are still extremely limited, but sources with knowledge of the "Drago" spin-off project have told The Wrap that it'll focus on both Ivan and Viktor Drago following the events of "Creed 2." The movie will be written by spec screenwriter Robert Lawton, who won a 2021 Nicholl Fellowship with a script he wrote called "Becoming Rocky." The story featured a take on Ivan Drago that MGM execs apparently loved and prompted the studio to hire him on, The Wrap reports. 

"The unbelievable yet true story of million-to-one underdog Sylvester Stallone & his journey from homeless in NYC, to writing and starring in the legendary film," reads the synopsis for "Becoming Rocky." With this in mind, it's natural to assume that "Drago" will be an origin story about Ivan and the Drago family, especially since "Creed 2" basically redeemed the Soviet-loving character and turned him into a proud father who fans can sympathize with. Dolph Lundgren has previously voiced his desire to revisit the relationship between Rocky Balboa and Drago, especially since a fight scene that the two ex-boxers had in "Creed 2" wound up being cut from the film. 

"I thought it was a good moment. It was also a fan moment," Lundgren told The Hollywood Reporter in November 2021. "It was a quick little fight, and I thought it worked." To add even more interest to the "Drago" spin-off, Lundgren told THR that he created an entire backstory for Ivan that never made it to the big screen. "When I played the character, I did a backstory about how he was brought up by the state and they controlled him," he explained. "He didn't have much say. He wasn't really an evil person; he was just a product of the system. He's Frankenstein's monster. He's not Dr. Frankenstein; that was the Soviet Union. So I always played that, and some of that came across in '85."