It took Creed director Ryan Coogler two years to convince Sylvester Stallone to return to the Rocky franchise, but it didn’t take that long to get him into the director’s chair for Round 2. On Monday night, Stallone announced on Instagram that he’ll be directing Creed II, the sequel to Coogler’s acclaimed spinoff starring Michael B. Jordan as Adonis Creed, Apollo Creed’s son.
(By the way, if we’re ranking Sylvester Stallone Instagrams, this one is in second place, behind only the photo that looks like maybe Stallone Photoshopped a cigar into his mouth.)
Though Coogler did a great job directing Creed—between that training montage and the amazingly constructed boxing match—it shouldn’t come as a surprise that he isn’t returning for the sequel. After Creed, the director landed Marvel’s Black Panther, which is due out in February 2018. He’s also planning another project with Jordan, an adaptation of a 2014 New Yorker feature on a systemic cheating scandal at an Atlanta middle school that involved both teachers and students. He’s got his hands full. Stallone, on the other hand, hasn’t taken on directorial duties since 2010’s The Expendables. And while it would’ve been interesting to see another up-and-comer take the reins for Creed II, from the day Stallone penned the script for the first movie, this franchise has been his baby. Half of the films Stallone has directed are from the Rocky universe: Rocky II, Rocky III, Rocky IV, and Rocky Balboa. He’s going to be Rocky forever.
As for what might go down in Creed II, details are still sparse, but it’s been all but confirmed that Dolph Lundgren will return as Ivan Drago.
Son of Drago versus son of Creed? We didn’t expect the Creed franchise to turn into The Expendables until, like, the fifth sequel, but yeah, sure, OK. Let’s do this.