*MGM and Warner Bros. have hired up-and-coming director Steven Caple Jr. to direct Michael B. Jordan and Sylvester Stallone in “Creed 2,” sources tell Variety.
Ryan Coogler, who directed “Creed,” is expected to remain with the project as an executive producer, though a deal has not yet closed, as Coogler is currently wrapping post-production on Marvel’s “Black Panther,” reports Variety.
Actress Tessa Thompson will also reprise her role as Bianca for the sequel, which is expected to start production in March 2018, in Philadelphia.
“It’s an honor to be a part of such an iconic franchise and to work with such great collaborators,” Caple said. “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.”
Cheo Hodari Coker (showrunner of “Luke Cage”) will write the original screenplay based on characters from the Rocky franchise. The story will follow Adonis Creed (Jordan)’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.
Jordan commented about the addition of Caple on Twitter:
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
Stallone had considered directing “Creed 2” at one point, but after talking it over with Jordan and the execs, they made the decision to find another director. After a lengthy search, Jordan and Stallone personally picked Caple to take the reins.
More about Caple via Cleveland.com:
Caple’s formative years growing up in Ohio City heavily influenced his 2016 directorial debut The Land. The John Marshall grad used Cleveland as the backdrop for the story of four teenage skateboarders who turn into drug dealers. Caple also lined up a powerful soundtrack featuring Erykah Badu, Kanye West and Machine Gun Kelly. He is currently working on a new project for HBO — a series on Emmett Till, a 14-year-old African American boy murdered in Mississippi in 1955.