Last night Sylvester Stallone announced on Instagram that he will be directing “Creed 2.” “Looking forward to directing and Producing The incredibly talented Michael B Jordan in CREED 2 next year … One more Round!,” wrote Stallone.
Stallone has previously said he had completed writing the first draft of the script for “Creed 2” and hinted he is bringing back Dolph Lundgren’s Ivan Drago character (and presumedly his offspring) from “Rocky 4.” Last month Stallone also announced production would begin in 2018, although distributor MGM told Variety the project was still in development.
In addition to writing and starring in the original “Rocky,” Stallone had directed four of the previous sequels, including “Rocky Balboa” — made 30 years after the original, when Stallone was 60 years old — which was assumed to bring closure to the successful franchise.
Close to a decade later, writer/director Ryan Coogler — fresh of the success of his Sundance breakout “Fruitvale Station” — convinced Stallone to come back as Rocky. Ryan Coogler’s “Creed” was one of the smartest, most original franchise reboots to come out of Hollywood. Focusing on the estranged son (Jordan) of the late Apollo Creed (Carl Weathers) — Rocky’s greatest opponent turned best friend — Coogler reinvented the mentor-boxer relationship at the heart of the “Rocky” films, while telling an African American boxing story in a franchise that was rooted in the lore of “The Great White Hope.”
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In addition to being a box office success, “Creed” also gave Stallone an incredible acting opportunity, as he went into the 2015 Academy Awards the favorite to win the Best Support Actor award, which went to Mark Rylance (“Bridge of Spies”).
For his part, Coogler has become one of the busiest and most sought after directors in Hollywood since the success of “Creed.” While the buzz on his summer Marvel film “Black Panther” is off the charts, he is also preparing “Wrong Answer,” which will star Jordan and is based on script written by nonfiction author Ta-Nehisi Coates.