It’s doubtful too many people saw Steve Caple Jr.’s The Land when it premiered at Sundance last year and possibly even fewer when IFC Films gave it a minimal theatrical release that summer. Obviously, the right people saw the movie, as Caple Jr. has just been picked by MGM and Warner Bros. to replace Ryan Coogler as the director of CREED 2
Michael B. Jordan will be returning to play the title role, the son of Rocky Balboa’s early nemesis Apollo Creed, and Stallone will be returning as Rocky, but not directing, which he had been considering at one point. Tessa Thompson, who was so amazing in Thor: Ragnarok, is also returning as Bianca. Coogler may return in an exec. producer role, although that deal is still in negotiations.
Although details are scarce, Creed 2 will follow Jordan’s Adonis Creed as he deals with the newfound fame found in the first movie. Stallone has hinted that the sequel might deal with Adonis confronting the Ivan Drago character, played by Dolph Lundgren, who killed Apollo Creed in Rocky IV.
Jordan and Stallone personally picked Caple after seeing his directorial debut The Land, which he made right after graduating USC. Caple will be directing from a screenplay written by Stallone and Cheo Hodari Coker, showrunner of Netflix’s Luke Cage. The film is produced by original Rocky producer Irwin Winkler with Charles Winkler, William Chartoff, David Winkler and Kevin King-Templeton. Jordan will exec. produce with Guy Riedel.
Since finishing The Land, Caple wrote HBO’s untitled Emmett Till project produced by Will Smith and Jay-Z, as well as directing the season finale of Freeform’s series Grown-ish.
Sources are saying the sequel will begin production in Philadelphia in March, and MGM will be distributing the film through their new distribution initiative. The release date set for the film is Nov. 21, 2018, three years after the Thanksgiving release of the original Creed.
The decision to hire a relatively new director is an interesting one considering that Coogler had only directed the Sundance-winning Fruitvale Station (also starring Jordan) before getting the gig directing Creed.
Capel is repped by WME and Untitled Entertainment and his attachment was first reported by Variety. Jordan and Stallone are also both WME while Thompson is repped by Green & Associates Talent Agency, Mosaic, and Jackoway Tyerman.
Edward Douglas | East Coast Editor