Creed II director Steven Caple Jr. talks the possibility of seeing Mr. T’s James “Clubber” Lang in the franchise. Taking over helming responsibilities from Ryan Coogler, the 30-year-old filmmaker moves Adonis “Donnie” Creed’s (Michael Jordan) story forward as he steps into the ring with Ivan Drago’s (Dolph Lundgren) son, Viktor (Florian Munteanu) while still, under the tutelage of Rocky Balboa (Sylvester Stallone).
While the reviews aren’t as smashing as Creed‘s, critics are lauding the film’s focus on the generational drama with the reintroduction of the Dragos. Considering this, many fans are wondering if there’s a chance that other notable opponents from the Rocky franchise can factor in the sequel saga. Lang’s name is a particular fan-favorite and Caple Jr. is leaving the door open regarding his potential appearance in future films.
Related: Steven Caple, Jr. Interview: Creed 2
Speaking with UPROXX while doing the promo rounds for the film, Caple Jr. was asked about Lang potentially popping out in Creed III. As it turns out, the director was already thinking about how to incorporate the character in the sequel:
“I’m not going to lie. There was a moment where I got pretty stingy and was thinking about Clubber Lang. I was like, ‘Dang, wouldn’t it be cool if we brought in Clubber Lang?’
And I think there was a version of this where Mike was also talking about it too. Like him having a daughter or something like that out in the West or New Mexico. We were playing with a lot of different ideas. But no, I don’t know if Clubber Lang will come back.”
Caple Jr. also teased what fans can expect of Lang’s possible appearance in case they’re able to rope Mr. T back in the role in future installments. So far, it sounds like a good idea considering that it will somehow be similar to how they brought back Ivan into the contemporary narrative.
“He’s an interesting character. And just to see where he’d be at now, where they try make him grounded and seeing where Mr. T is at. Again, nostalgia and just finding a way to bring back characters, but in 2018 and 2019 they have a more modern day level and will always be interesting. You know what I mean? I love challenges like that. Trying to make Drago human. How to make Clubber Lang human. Like, where is he at today? Those are the interesting routes to go in developing characters. That’s my favorite part of character development.”
In retrospect, it’s great that Caple Jr. left Lang out of Creed II to focus on Drago and his history with both Rocky and Adonis. This allowed the film to revisit that particular rivalry in the franchise, and throwing another person from the past could’ve muddied the plot and cheapen the impact of bringing Ivan back into the picture. That said, considering it wasn’t only the director who’s contemplating of bringing him, there’s a chance that fans will see him moving forward in the franchise.