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There’s been several shifts of power in one of Hollywood’s brightest new franchises. Upon the success of 2015’s Creed, the film saw a fresh opportunity to market the reboot of the Rocky movie series to a brand new generation. The knockout duo of director Ryan Coogler and lead actor Michael B. Jordan channeled the chemistry they developed working with each other in the critically-acclaimed Fruitvale Station, and brought a new dynamic to the films while paying proper homage to the franchise that Sylvester Stallone brought to glory in the late 1970’s.

News broke a couple of months ago that in preparation for the sequel to Creed, Coogler would not be returning as the director for the second film. Some said it was because of his current film schedule, as the young director was tapped to bring the long-awaited film adaptation of Marvel Comics’ Black Panther to life (which also features Jordan as one of the film’s antagonists). There were also rumors that despite Creed being Coogler’s project, clashes with Stallone on the direction of the film caused him to pull out, which weren’t dispelled when Stallone posted several pictures of what appeared to be a script for Creed 2 on social media. Stallone also hinted that fans will see some sort of face-off between Jordan’s Adonis “Donny” Creed character and Ivan Drago, the dominating fighter out of the Soviet Union who killed the Donny’s father Apollo during a bout in the fourth installment of the Rocky series.

After Coogler officially removed himself from the project, Stallone stepped in to take the mantle of Director and Screenwriter, but according to Variety, talks with both producers of the film and Michael B. Jordan prompted a new decision being made. Steven Caple, Jr. has been announced as the Director of Creed 2, and Tessa Thompson has been confirmed to reprise her role as Donny’s girlfriend, Bianca, for the film. Caple, whose past work includes films such as The Land, steps into the role after being personally selected by both Jordan and Stallone. He also has a directing credit for the season finale episode in the highly anticipated Blackish spinoff Grownish. 

The film will continue Donny’s story after his fight with “Pretty” Ricky Conlan as he deals with his new-found fame, family issues, and his journey in becoming a champion. Coogler and Stallone will still be involved with the film, while Stallone remains the screenwriter alongside Cheo Hodari Coker (of Luke Cage fame). Coogler will serve as in an Executive Producer role, although terms haven’t been agreed upon since Coogler is finishing post-production on Black Panther.

Jordan spoke highly on Caple’s selection as Director on social media, and reports show that production for the film are set to begin in Philadelphia in March of 2018. A release date is scheduled for November 21, 2018.