Sylvester Stallone will take over as ‘Creed 2’ director

Director Ryan Coogler’s 2015 reboot of the Rocky franchise, Creed, is not only getting a sequel, but Sylvester Stallone will take the director’s chair for it.

The seventh installment of the boxing-themed franchise hit theaters November 25, 2015 (exactly 40 years after the opening scene in 1976’s franchise-spawning Rocky), and went on to become a critical and commercial hit, earning Stallone an Academy Award nomination for his supporting role, among other industry accolades. Although the film’s success made a sequel seem likely, it wasn’t until October 2017 that Stallone officially confirmed development on Creed 2, and also indicated that he would take over as the writer, director, and producer on the eighth film — roles he has filled in many of the earlier installments of the series.

Stallone confirmed the sequel — and his roles behind the camera — in a post on Instagram.

“Looking forward to directing and producing the incredibly talented Michael B. Jordan in Creed 2 next year,” Stallone wrote in the caption of a photo featuring him and Creed star Michael B. Jordan. “One more round!”

Coogler’s departure from the director’s chair was reportedly due to his commitments related to Marvel Studios’ upcoming movie Black Panther, which he co-wrote and directed. Coogler will remain involved with the rebooted Rocky franchise as an executive producer.

Stallone’s return behind the camera is a familiar position for the man who introduced the world to pugilist Rocky Balboa. He wrote every installment of the franchise except for Creed (which was co-written by Coogler and Aaron Covington) and directed four of them.  The only films not directed by Stallone were the original Rocky and Rocky V, which were directed by John G. Avildsen, and Creed.

Details are scarce regarding the plot of Creed 2, but Stallone previously hinted that Dolph Lundgren’s Russian powerhouse Ivan Drago — Rocky’s opponent in Rocky IV — could be involved in the film, or it might even be Ivan’s son who’s pitted against Adonis Creed (Jordan) in the ring this time around. Given that Drago killed Creed’s father, Apollo, in the ring during the events of Rocky IV, only to be defeated by Rocky in his home country later, there is certain to be some bad blood between the two boxers.

Stallone stoked the fires of a potential matchup between Drago and Creed with a July 2 post on Instagram.

There is no timetable for development and production on Creed 2 at this point, but Stallone indicated that he expects to film with Jordan in 2018.