Earlier this year Sylvester Stallone announced that he would be directing for the first time since The Expendables with the sequel to Rocky spin-off Creed. However, for reasons that remain unclear, Stallone has stepped down from the director's chair and has handed those duties to newcomer Stephen Caple Jr (The Land). Creed 2 will be Caple's first studio project, and he had this to say about taking on the task.
"It's an honor to be a part of such an iconic franchise and to work with such great collaborators. 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."
Stallone made a brief statement via his Instagram account;
"The character of Adonis Creed reflects this generation, and I believe it is important to have a director who is part of it, that is why I think we are Lucky to have Stephen Caple ,Jr A wonderful new talent take over The directorial chores and make the story as relatable as possible. He and Michael B Jordon will deliver a knockout!"
Plot details remain under wraps, but Stallone has previously teased the return of Dolph Lundgren's Ivan Drago and a title match between Adonis and Drago's son. A fight between the next generation of Drago and Creed would be particularly fitting as Ivan claimed the life of Apollo Creed in an exhibition match in Rocky IV.
Stallone is remaining in sequel mode as no sooner had he finished filming Escape Plan 2; he started shooting Escape Plan 3 alongside Dave Bautista and 50 Cent. The first sequel to the 2013 action thriller hasn't been given a release date yet, and given the fast turnaround, I wouldn't be surprised to see them make their debuts on DVD.
Creed 2 is due for release November 2018.