"Creed 2" hired a director — and it's not Sylvester Stallone.
The star had flirted with directing the sequel to the 2015 hit, but instead, up-and-comer Steven Caple Jr. will take the reins, according to Variety.
Michael B. Jordan and Tessa Thompson will return to reprise their roles, as will Stallone. The first movie's director, Ryan Coogler, will serve as an executive producer, but has been busy himself with wrapping up "Black Panther."
Stallone declared in an Instagram post in early October that he would direct and produce the sequel. But he reportedly stepped aside after discussing it with Jordan and studio executives.
"The character of Adonis Creed reflects this generation and its challenges," Stallone said. "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."
Jordan was also excited to welcome his new director, who will begin production in March:
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
This is Staple's first major movie project. He caught the industry's eyes with his IFC movie "The Land," which he directed right after USC and premiered at the 2016 Sundance Film Festival.
"Creed 2" is slated for release November 21, 2018.
In 1985, Russian boxer Ivan Drago killed former U.S. champion Apollo Creed in a tragic match that stunned the world. Against the wishes of trainer Rocky Balboa, Apollo's son Adonis Johnson accepts a challenge from Drago's son -- another dangerous fighter. Under guidance from Rocky, Adonis trains for the showdown of his life -- a date with destiny that soon becomes his obsession. Now, Johnson and Balboa must confront their shared legacy as the past comes back to haunt each man. Read More