Adonis Creed and Rocky Balboa are officially making their return.
Michael B. Jordan, Sylvester Stallone, and Tessa Thompson all are officially returning for Creed 2, which is set for a Nov. 21, 2018 release.
After Stallone previously expressed interest in directing the script he co-wrote with Cheo Hodari Coker (Luke Cage showrunner), Jordan and the production team made the decision to bring in Steven Caple Jr., who earned raves for his IFC film The Land, according to Variety. Jordan and Stallone personally picked the director.
Ryan Coogler, who directed Creed, will join the film as an executive producer, and filming is expected to begin in spring 2018.
Although the plot has been kept under wraps, Stallone has hinted on social media that Ivan Drago, the character played by Dolph Lundgren who killed Creed’s father Apollo in Rocky IV, will have a presence in the film. The son of the character is also expected to play a major role. (MMA fighter Sage Northcutt has already thrown his hat into the ring as an option.)
“The character of Adonis Creed reflects this generation and its challenges,” Stallone said in a press release. “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. We are extremely lucky to have the talented young filmmaker Steven Caple Jr. step up and accept the role of director. I am confident that he and Michael B. Jordan will hit it out of the park!”
Jordan, the December 2015 Men’s Fitness cover star, got absolutely shredded for Creed with this intense workout routine. (He’ll also be front and center, and jacked, as the main villain in the upcoming Black Panther movie.)
Stallone had already been working on the script for the sequel, teasing on Instagram that Jordan’s character, Adonis Johnson, would face off against the son of classic Rocky IV villain Ivan Drago (Dolph Lundgren).
Lundgren has been in on the fun, too. The actor teased on Instagram that he was “getting ready for something big” with “@officialslystallone,” using the hashtags “#Creed2” and “#IvanDrago” in the post.
Stallone is no stranger to acting and directing in the same film: The actor previously starred in and directed Rocky II, Rocky III, Rocky IV, Rocky Balboa, Rambo, and The Expendables.
Creed 2 will hit theaters on Nov. 21, 2018.