On January 5, 2016, Sylvester Stallone and Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer CEO Gary Barber confirmed to Variety that a sequel to Creed was in development. The same month, Stallone posed the possibility of seeing Milo Ventimiglia appear in the sequel, reprising his role as Rocky's son Robert Balboa from Rocky Balboa. Ventimiglia previously revealed during the development of Creed that he was open to returning to the franchise, stating, "I'll tell you what, if they invited me, I'd love to be there. If they didn't, I wouldn't be offended. " It was revealed in April 2018 that Ventimiglia would have an appearance in the film. On January 11, 2016, Barber revealed that Ryan Coogler would not be returning due to scheduling conflicts, because he was attached to Black Panther, though he would return as executive producer. Michael B. Jordan's schedule ended up being delayed due to Black Panther, as he was starring in that film. In July 2017, Stallone confirmed that he had completed the script for the sequel, and also revealed that Ivan Drago would be featured in the film. In October 2017, it was announced that Stallone would direct and produce the film. However, in December 2017, it was reported that Steven Caple Jr. would instead direct the film with Tessa Thompson confirmed to reprise her role of Bianca, Creed's love interest. In January 2018, Romanian boxer and kickboxer Florian Munteanu was cast in the film to play Drago's son with Dolph Lundgren set to reprise his role of Drago. In March 2018, Russell Hornsby joined the cast while Phylicia Rashad, Wood Harris, and Andre Ward were confirmed to reprise their roles from the prior film.