New Creed II director chosen, Stallone will still co-star
Two months ago, Rocky creator Sylvester Stallone stated he would return to direct Michael B. Jordan in MGM‘s Creed II, but now Variety is reporting that Stallone and Jordan handpicked another talented young filmmaker to take the reigns. Best known for directing 2016’s skateboarding drama The Land (starring Jorge Lendeborg Jr.), Steven Caple Jr. will be the new Creed II director, working from a script by Stallone and Luke Cage showrunner Cheo Hodari Coker. Production will begin in Philadelphia this coming March, with a release date of November 21, 2018.
“We could not be more fortunate and excited for the collaboration of Steven, Sly, Michael and the producers, to build upon the success of ‘Creed,’” said Jonathan Glickman, MGM’s president, motion picture group. “The combination of Steven’s talent and unique vision makes him the perfect director to continue the Rocky franchise’s storied lineage.”
“It’s an honor to be a part of such an iconic franchise and to work with such great collaborators,” Caple said. “Mike, Sly, and Tessa are extraordinarily talented and bring something special to today’s culture. I look forward to joining the family and continuing the precedent set by this franchise’s alumni of incredible filmmakers.”
“We recognized Steven’s talent for telling ambitious stories with incredible heart in ‘The Land,’” said producer Irwin Winkler. “We are confident what he will bring to ‘Creed 2’ will result in a story that resonates with audiences all over the world.”
Stallone previously confirmed that Dolph Lundgren’s Ivan Drago, and possibly his offspring, will be involved in a big bloody battle with Adonis Creed in the ring. Previous discussions for the next installment had the story potentially mirror Rocky IV, or even take a page from The Godfather Part II playbook and feature recurring flashbacks to Apollo Creed before his death.
“You’ll have him face a different opponent, which I would say is a more ferocious, big Russian,” Stallone said previously. “There’s a lot there.”
2015’s Creed earned over $173 million at the worldwide box office and got Stallone a Best Supporting actor Golden Globe win and an Oscar nod. Time did not allow Coogler to direct Creed II given his commitment to deliver Marvel Studios’ Black Panther for a February 16, 2018 release. He also has the Atlanta school drama Wrong Answer in development with Michael B. Jordan to star.
Creed II will be produced by Irwin Winkler, Charles Winkler, William Chartoff, David Winkler, and Kevin King-Templeton, with Jordan and Guy Riedel executive producing.