Sylvester Stallone recently admitted regretting the decision to kill off Carl Weathers' Apollo Creed in Rocky IV. It looks like he may have been trying to remedy that situation by bringing the character back as a ghost in Creed 2, according to Ivan Drago actor Dolph Lundgren. The sequel is about dealing with the ghosts of the past, but it looks like Stallone was thinking of literally bringing back a ghost, though the actor has not confirmed this bit of storytelling. It seems like it was a wise choice to leave that scene out.
Brigitte Nielsen was spotted around the Creed 2 set during production and fans knew that her Ludmilla character was going to make an appearance. Nielsen's part in the movie was a fan-favorite, but it was nearly Carl Weathers instead. Dolph Lundgren recently took part in a Q&A session at Monster-Mania Con 42 in New Jersey and talked about Apollo's ghost. He had this to say.
"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."
It seems that Dolph Lundgren is right on track with his assessment of bringing back Carl Weathers as a ghost in Creed 2 and it not being a good idea. In a recent birthday shout out to Weathers, Sylvester Stallone heaped praise on the Apollo Creed actor, calling him "the best cinema boxer of all time." Stallone went on to say, "I have to admit I regret having Apollo passing away so soon. He was Irreplaceable." Maybe bringing back Apollo's ghost was a way to feel better about the Rocky IV decision.
Creed 2 was another hit for Sylvester Stallone and the Rocky franchise as a whole. Shortly after the movie took over the box office, Stallone revealed that he was retiring his Rocky Balboa role. This isn't the first time that Stallone has retired from the role over the years and Dolph Lundgren believes that he will return when the dust settles. So, maybe we'll get to see that Apollo ghost after all in a possible Creed 3 if Stallone decides to carry on.
If Sylvester Stallone really wanted to bring back Carl Weathers, a flashback scene seems like it would have been the way to go for Creed 2. Regardless, going without the Apollo ghost was a wise move when all is said and done. The movie might have gotten dinged by long-time fans and critics for including a supernatural scene in a boxing movie. It worked for Carl Weathers in Happy Gilmore, but it would have stuck out like a sore, broken wooden hand, had it been included in Creed 2. The Apollo Creed ghost news was first reported by CinemaBlend.