Steven Caple Jr. has been named the new director of Creed 2, squashing the short-lived rumors that Sylvester Stallone would direct the sequel himself. Caple is a fairly young director, and this will be his first major studio film, but those involved in the project feel that that's just what they need right now.
"The character of Adonis Creed reflects this generation and its challenges," Stallone said in a statement. "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!"
Michael B. Jordan also endorsed the appointment, taking to Twitter shortly after it was announced.
Excited for Coogler to hand over the reins to Steven Caple, Jr. - our director for Creed 2! Can’t wait to bring you guys the next chapter of our story ... coming at you November 2018. 👊🏾👊🏾 #Creed2— Michael B. Jordan (@michaelb4jordan) December 11, 2017
Caple reportedly got the job based on his 2016 film The Land, which was screened at the Sundance Film Festival. It follows a group of young men trying to get out of their neighborhood in Cleveland and pursue their dream of professional skateboarding.
"It's an honor to be a part of such an iconic franchise and to work with such great collaborators," Caple said after the announcement was made. "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."
Creed 2 is currently in pre-production. It's slated for release in November of 2018. Ryan Coogler, who directed the smash hit Creed in 2015, is in talks to return as an executive producer. It's not set in stone, however, as Coogler is still finishing up work on Marvel Studios' Black Panther.