Rocky IV is a 1985 American sports film written and directed by Sylvester Stallone, who also starred in the film. The film co-stars Dolph Lundgren, Burt Young, Talia Shire, Carl Weathers, Tony Burton, Brigitte Nielsen, and Michael Pataki. It is the fourth and most financially successful entry in the Rocky film series. In the film, the Soviet Union and their top boxer make an entrance into professional boxing with their best athlete Ivan Drago who initially wants to take on World Champion Rocky Balboa. His best friend Apollo Creed decides to fight him instead, but is killed in the ring. Enraged by this, Rocky decides to fight Drago in Russia to avenge his friend and defend the honor of his country.