Filmmaker Steven Caple Jr. caught the attention of the industry in 2016 at the Sundance Film Festival with his feature film debut The Land. Now, the Ohio native was chosen to sit in the director’s chair for Creed II the sequel to the Ryan Coogler-helmed predecessor and a film that is part of a cinematic legacy that started in 1976 with Sylvester Stallone’s Rocky. You’d think he’d be on-edge and under an extraordinary amount of pressure, but when he stopped by the New Hollywood Podcast, Caple was chill and excited for us to see what he has brought to the table for Creed II.

Caple was chosen by Coogler and Stallone to take the reins of the film starring Michael B. Jordan and Tessa Thompson. Although boxing and the reincarnated Drago rivalry from Rocky IV are in the spotlight of Creed II, Caple brings a fresh timely perspective to the story while maintaining the emotional groundedness and thematic elements of family, honor and legacy to the story.

He talked to us about his journey as a filmmaker, being part of such an iconic Hollywood franchise, and ranked the first six Rocky films. We also spent a lot of the time trying to convince him into making one of the first screenplays he wrote — because it sounded too good NOT to make.

Listen to the episode below.