An early version of the script for Creed II apparently saw Apollo Creed returning as a ghost.
During a Q&A at Monster-Mania Con 42, returning star Dolph Lundgren expressed his praise for the choice to bring back Rocky IV's Brigitte Nielsen for a cameo, saying, "It was a great idea I thought [to bring Nielsen back]. In the original first draft it was Apollo came back. Or like his ghost or something. It was a little hokey, you know. So I think it was much better to bring Brigitte back."
Apollo Creed -- father of Michael B. Jordan's Adonis -- famously died fighting Ivan Drago during Rocky IV, though actor Carl Weathers did appear in Creed and Creed II through the use of archival footage. It's unclear how the script originally planned to incorporate the character and just how far the movie was into production before the idea was nixed entirely, as Lundgren did not elaborate.
The first Creed film earned $173 million worldwide. Creed II earned over $213.6 million at the worldwide box office and was the first film in the Rocky franchise to have a theatrical debut in China. The first Creed film earned $173 million worldwide. Since the film's debut, Sylvester Stallone has indicated that the film will mark his final appearance as Rocky Balboa.
Creed II is directed by Stephen Caple Jr. (The Land) from a script written by Sylvester Stallone and Juel Taylor. The film stars Michael B. Jordan, Sylvester Stallone, Tessa Thompson, Dolph Lundgren, Florian Munteanu and Phylicia Rashad. The film is available on home media.