It looks like Rocky creator Sylvester Stallone isn’t directing the Creed sequel anymore. MGM and Warner Bros just announced that Steven Caple Jr. will instead be in the director’s seat on the followup to 2015’s Creed, which starred Michael B. Jordan as Adonis Johnson, the offspring Apollo Creed, and had Stallone reprise his iconic role of Rocky Balboa.
Stallone was originally attached to direct Creed 2 — making the announcement himself via his social media back in October. We hear it was his decision to hand over the reins and the studio backed him.
“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.” He added, “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!”
Creed 2 hails from an original screenplay by Stallone and Luke Cage showrunner Cheo Hodari Coker, based on characters from the Rocky franchise. This installment follows Adonis Creed’s life inside and outside of the ring as he deals with new found fame, issues with his family, and his continuing quest to become a champion.
The pic, slated to begin production in March in Philadelphia, is being produced by Irwin Winkler, Charles Winkler, William Chartoff, David Winkler and Kevin King-Templeton. Jordan and Guy Riedel will exec produce.
Caple Jr.’s made is feature directorial debut with The Land, which premiered at Sundance in 2016 and was picked by IFC. He recently wrote HBO’s Emmett Till project, produced by Will Smith and Jay-Z and is directing the season finale of Freeform’s Black-ish spinoff Grown-ish.
“We recognized Steven’s talent for telling ambitious stories with incredible heart in The Land,” said Winkler. “We are confident what he will bring to Creed 2 will result in a story that resonates with audiences all over the world.”
Caple Jr. is repped by WME, Untitled Entertainment, and Hansen, Jacobson, Teller.
Variety was first to break this news.