Brace yourselves: Another Rocky spinoff is coming. MGM Studios has tapped Robert Lawton to write the screenplay for Drago, the latest addition to the iconic boxing franchise.
Drago centers Ivan Drago, the Russian boxer who took on Sylvester Stallone’s beloved fighter in the 1985 film Rocky IV. Decades later, Ivan’s son, Viktor Drago, appeared in Creed II, the second spinoff following the amateur boxer Adonis Creed (Michael B. Jordan). Dolph Lundgren played Ivan Drago in Rocky IV and Florian Munteanu portrayed Viktor in Creed II, but it’s unclear whether either of them will reprise their roles in Drago.
Lawton, who contributed to 2006’s Sex & Sushi and 2012’s Crave, scored the Drago gig after writing the spec script Becoming Rocky, which detailed the making of the first Rocky film. While MGM didn’t move forward with the project, the studio did select Lawton to develop its next spinoff.
“I’m incredibly humbled and grateful for this opportunity, and I’m approaching it as an enormous fan of the Rocky franchise, who happens to be a screenwriter,” Lawton said in a statement to Variety.
Ahead of Drago, Jordan will return for Creed III, which hits theaters on March 3rd, 2023. Jordan is directing the film in his feature debut, and is joined by castmates Munteanu, Tessa Thompson, Phylicia Rashad, and Jonathan Majors. In another first, Stallone doesn’t appear in the project, though he does serve as a producer.