#FIRSTLOOK: WILL CONOR MCGREGOR APPEAR IN UPCOMING “CREED” SEQUEL?
The Rocky franchise is one of those film series that might go down at times but can never be counted out. Everyone had thought that the storied franchise was done after 2006’s Rocky Balboa but new life was breathed into the franchise with last fall’s surprise blockbuster, Creed.
Creed was a massive critical and financial success that helped to successfully reboot the rapidly aging franchise for a new generation. The film grossed $173.6 million on a measly $35 million budget and made newcomer Michael B. Jordan into a bona fide star. It even helped to earn Sylvester Stallone an Oscar nomination for Best Supporting Actor.
Creed actually managed to revive Rocky in the video game world, too. It brought about a mobile fighting game for smart devices, Real Boxing 2, as well as new a licensed casino title based on the franchise at large. This site called the latter a “heavyweight slot” that “packs a punch,” as players are encouraged to step into the ring against some of the most famous adversaries of the Italian Stallion from throughout the series. With this level of success in the theatres and even in gaming, it comes as no surprise that there’s already talk of a sequel to Creed. And we have the low down on some of the most enticing rumours for the upcoming film, including several seriously big cameos.
Much of Creed‘s success came from the unflinching realism of the film. One of the reasons the fights looked so real is these largely weren’t actors in the ring. Creed starred several real-life fighters as the opponents of the titular character; former super-middleweight champion Andre Ward played Danny “Stuntman” Wheeler and former light-middleweight champion Gabriel Rosado played another of Creed’s challengers. In fact, Creed’s opponent in the final bout was none other than current EBU cruiserweight champion Tony Bellew, so naturally we’re already thinking ahead of which fighters might make an appearance in the sequel.
Few fighters are more popular (or as talented) as Irishman Conor McGregor and according to one blog, director Ryan Coogler had hinted that he’d love to have McGregor at least make a cameo in the next film in the series. Unfortunately, it might be a long shot for fans of “The Notorious” as it definitely won’t be happening with Coogler at the helm. The director has been forced to drop out of the project due to his commitment for the upcoming Marvel film, Black Panther.
Thankfully, rising star Michael B. Jordan is still completely on board and he has big ideas for what to expect from a sequel. This article states that the actor feels the sequel needs a proper villain, not dissimilar to Ivan Drago in Rocky IV. He was actually responsible for the death of Creed‘s father, Apollo, and as close to a true villain the series has ever gotten. If Creed 2 ends up looking more like Rocky IV, we’re more than OK with that. It’s one of the best films in the franchise and it’d be great to see Jordan fight up against an honest-to-goodness bad guy. Who knows, maybe Conor McGregor might be just the man for the job.
#FILMING: “XXX: THE RETURN OF XANDER CAGE”, “MISS SLOANE” AND “DOWNSIZING” TO FILM IN TORONTO SOON
Since Suicide Squad and TIFF, Toronto hasn’t caught much of a break in terms of starpower. That is about to change soon. While a slew of TV Series and Pilots continue to film in the City, we will be plenty excited to know that A-List names like Reese Witherspoon, Matt Damon, Vin Diesel, Neil Patrick Harris and Samuel L. Jackson are making their way north over the next few months. That’s right! Kicking-off 2016 proper!
DOWNSIZING, to be released via Paramount Pictures, is the latest endeavour for Oscar-nominated Director Alexander Payne who rocked our world with Sideways (2000) and The Descendants (2004). Matt Damon will star as an Omaha man who joins the many others who opt to undergo a procedure which reduces them to a fraction of their size. They then are moved-off to communities with many others like themselves. Reese Witherspoon who worked with Payne in Election, Jason Sudeikis and Neil Patrick Harris also star. Expect a late 2017 release, which means you guessed it… OSCARS and what could be a debut at TIFF ’17! Filming runs April through July.
For those who like a bit more of a punch, the latest installment in the XXX franchise, THE RETURN OF XANDER CAGE begins production in February through May and once again stars megastar Vin Diesel in the titular role. Samuel L. Jackson returns and appearing also is MMA star Conor McGregor. After Xander Cage (Diesel) is left for dead, he miraculously finds his way back and is sent on a new assignment by hander Augustus Gibbons (Jackson).
Production is to be based out of Pinewood Studios in Toronto for both Films.
After selling to Europacorp during TIFF in September for a cool $17 million, gun control drama Miss Sloane, starring future Oscar winner Jessica Chastain also is pegged for a late winter start date. Chastain stars as a lobbyist who goes up against Washington to pass through gun legislation. The Hollywood Reporter reports a March start date, while the Directors Guild of Canada report filming could start as early as February.
(Photo credit: Mr. Will Wong)