Dolph Lundgren Returning As His Best Villain
Dolph Lundgren has an enormous filmography of iconic action movie roles and it seems he is returning to his very best one.
Dolph Lundgren has been acting in movies since 1985 and has the kind of wide filmography many professionals could only dream of. He has also never slowed down his pace; he currently has seven different projects scheduled between now and 2023. However, there is one role that Dolph Lundgren is known for above all others: Ivan Drago, the mighty Russian villain in Rocky IV. According to reports, Dolph Lundgren is looking to return to the part of the iconic Soviet boxer in an upcoming spinoff of a spinoff of the Rocky franchise.
Per Variety, MGM is looking to expand Sylvester Stallone’s Rocky series even further from the original star. After the successes of the Michael B. Jordan starring films Creed and Creed II, the studio is developing a Drago project, in which Dolph Lundgren would presumably reprise his role. He already returned to the character in 2018’s Creed II, which saw Michael B. Jordan’s Adonis Creed facing off again Viktor Drago (Florian Munteanu). In Rocky IV, Dolph Lundgren killed Adonis Creed’s father and Stallone enemy-turned-ally Apollo (Carl Weathers). While Viktor Drago was introduced in the Creed series of films as an antagonist looking to gain revenge for his father’s eventual defeat at the hands of Sylvester Stallone and to boost his own career, the movie treated both him and Dolph Lundgren with surprising empathy and sensitivity.
It seems likely that a spin-off series focusing on the Drago family could continue the story of Dolph Lundgren and his son searching for the self-respect and success they crave, as well as dealing with the continued betrayal of being abandoned by their respective wife and mother Ludmilla (Brigitte Nielsen) in both Rocky IV and Creed II. The only detail on the proposed Drago project currently available is that screenwriter Robert Lawton is in charge of developing a script and backstory. It is always possible that MGM will go the prequel route and deliver a Drago Begins with a younger actor playing the Dolph Lundgren role. However, the unexpected (and immense) success of the Creed series will likely prompt the studio to try to replicate its formula of a younger actor carrying on a legacy with one of the originals providing a link to the past.
Dolph Lundgren found a breakout role in Rocky IV, only his second role ever. His first was in the Roger Moore James Bond film A View to a Kill, in which he had a brief appearance as a KGB agent. He actually only appeared in the film due to an extra not showing up while he was visiting then-girlfriend Grace Jones, who was starring in the film. Dolph Lundgren would go on to appear in a number of 1980s cult classic films, including as He-Man in Masters of the Universe, as the first live-action actor to portray Marvel Comics’ Punisher, and a resurrected, relentless murderer in Universal Soldier. In recent years, Dolph Lundgren has had a career revival in Sylvester Stallone’s Expendables series of action films and hopefully, more appearances as Ivan Drago.