Creed 2 has a new director. It has been confirmed that the sequel to the 2015 Rocky spin-off Creed will no longer be directed by Sylvester Stallone. The movie will instead be helmed by Steven Caple Jr., who previously made the acclaimed 2016 indie hit The Land.
In October, Stallone stated that he would direct the movie, which he has co-written and in which he will co-star as Rocky Balboa. However, as Variety reports, after discussion with star Michael B. Jordan and the movie’s producers, Stallone decided to hand the reins to another filmmaker. The site notes that Caple Jr. was personally chosen by Stallone, and that Creed director Ryan Coogler is also expected to return as executive producer.
In a statement, Stallone, who created the character of Rocky back in the mid-’70s, said, “The character of Adonis Creed reflects this generation and its challenges,” said Stallone. “I believe it’s important for the director to also be a part of this generation like I was in mine, to make the story as relatable as possible. We are extremely lucky to have the talented young filmmaker Steven Caple Jr. step up and accept the role of director. I am confident that he and Michael B. Jordan will hit it out of the park!”
In July, Stallone also suggested that fellow action star Dolph Lundgren will reprise his role as Russian heavyweight Ivan Drago, last seen in 1985’s Rocky IV. At that time, Stallone posted a series vintage shots of Lundgren from the set of Rocky IV, each one tagged with “CREED 2.” Lundgren himself largely confirmed this news when he posted a training video, with the caption, “Getting ready for something big! #creed 2.”
Stallone won a Golden Globe for his performance as the aging Rocky in Creed, as well as receiving an Oscar nomination for Best Supporting Actor. The movie made $173.6 million at the worldwide box office.
In related news, Coogler’s Marvel movie Black Panther hits theaters in February. Chadwick Boseman plays the title character, with Jordan in a supporting role. A new international trailer featuring lots of new footage was released this week.