Ivan Drago Will Probably Appear in ‘Creed 2,’ Which Will Probably Be About US-Russia Tensions

Man, who knew Sylvester Stallone was such a Renaissance man? Not only does the marble-mouthed action star have a few Oscar nods under his belt, he’s also got a penchant for painting, can take a mean cat-stagram, and, apparently, is some kind of Photoshop maestro.

Evidence: Sly just hit Instagram with a shooped pic of Adonis Creed in the boxing ring, squaring off against a Rocky IV-era Ivan Drago while Creed-era Rocky Balboa watches on. And, boy howdy, it’s quite the sight.

Stallone adds a cryptic message in the caption: “Here’s a chance to stretch your imagination … HISTORY WILL ALWAYS REPEAT ITSELF IN ONE FORM OR ANOTHER, JUST GOT TO BE READY!”

Which suggests a few scenarios:

A) Creed 2 will be a wacky time-travel caper (he does tell us to stretch our imaginations) in which Rocky and Adonis take a wormhole back to the ’80s in order to stop Drago from left hooking Adonis’ dad, Apollo Creed, to death. (Spoiler: in Rocky IV, Drago left hooks Apollo Creed to death.)

B) Creed 2 will be a modern day revenge tale, wherein Creed Jr. takes on Drago Jr., each respectively coached by Balboa and Drago Sr.

C) Creed 2 will see Adonis Creed actually fight Ivan Drago Sr. (played by Dolph Lundgren, who is now 59), in which case Creed 2 will be a modern day elder abuse tale.

For the sake of all that is good and holy, let’s hope B) turns out to be the case. (Although, A) would be pretty darned fun). And if it is, expect it to essentially be a remake of Rocky IV — one that will be politically charged as hell. Rocky IV was a Cold War-themed wet dream, released in 1985, right as the US-Russia propaganda wars were at their peak. The highest grossing film in the Rocky series (taking home $300 million worldwide), it heavy-handedly captured the American zeitgeist, each steroid-laden haymaker to Drago’s face acting as a proxy haymaker to the Kremlin. As US-Russia tensions reach their highest (and most confusing) point in decades, the timing certainly checks out.

With all signs pointing to Stallone directing Creed 2 — Creed director Ryan Coogler is busy working on Marvel’s Black Panther, and Sly’s been dropping some Insta-hints that he may take the helm it’ll be interesting to see how he plays this. Sly certainly hasn’t been one to shy away from full on, flag-waving, bald eagle jingoism. Just look at this beauty from his Instagram feed:

However, Stallone’s feelings about President Donald Trump are a bit vaguer. He started last year off by saying, “I love Donald Trump.” But he ended it by turning down a cushy arts post in Trump’s administration. Besides, with claims swirling that Trump and Vladimir Putin have been in cahoots, a barefaced partisan narrative won’t be quite as easy to pull off today as it was 30 years ago. Sly will have to reach far beyond his comfort zone to achieve something we’re not even sure he can pronounce: subtlety.

Let’s just hope his idea of subtlety isn’t Creed Jr. making a heel turn by giving Drago Jr. the Finger Poke of Doom.