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Creed II Is All Punches, Drama, And Shirtless Michael B. Jordan

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If you listen closely enough, you can hear the faint sounds of retainers breaking in the distance after the release of the first Creed II trailer. Shirtless Michael B. Jordan is back from Wakanda to prove his fighting skills were no fluke, soundtracked by Kendrick Lamar’s “DNA.”

Directed by Steven Caple Jr., the eighth instalment in the Rocky franchise sees Adonis Creed (Jordan) grappling with the ghosts of his past as he faces Viktor Drago (Florian Munteanu), the son of the man who famously killed his father, Apollo, in Rocky IV. In the trailer, his mentor Rocky (Sylvester Stallone) and girlfriend Bianca (Tessa Thompson) both question his motivations for wanting to take on Viktor. Their worries are understandable considering it looks like Adonis has a little Creed to worry about now.

Creed II sees Jordan and Thompson finally reuniting after their brief forays into the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Unfortunately, Black Panther‘s director Ryan Coogler did not return to helm the spinoff he helped to create. On Variety‘s Playback podcast, Coogler shared why he didn’t return to direct the Creed sequel and how emotional the first film is for him.

Creed was about my dad and me, so it’s a movie that I find difficult to watch,” Coogler said. “It’s difficult for me to even think about it, I’ve got so many emotional ties to it, not to mention, you know, how much I care about the people involved. I care deeply for Mike, obviously, deeply for Tessa, and I grew incredibly close with Sly in making that. These are people that I wanna see do well and win at all costs. There’s timing, and that film, for whatever reason, it had to go when it’s going. I think it’s a blessing that it’s going, man.”

Creed II hits theatres November 21.