If you were of the opinion that Creed II was fine if a bit of a step down from its predecessor, then this should fill you with good vibes: One of its stars, Tessa Thompson, told MTV that the threequel will be directed by another one of its stars, Michael B. Jordan. Previously the big news had been a mere rumor, but Thompson confirmed that the cat was officially out of the bag.
The actress was discussing her new period romance, Sylvie’s Love, alongside co-star Nnamdi Asomugha when the conversation perhaps inevitably veered into last month’s news, namely that Jordan had been declared People’s 2020 Sexiest Man Alive. There was some joshing. (“I’m going to give him a lot of crap about it in person,” she said. “I need to start developing, like, pranks around that.”)
Thompson then confirmed the news. “He is directing the next Creed,” she said. “It’s going to be ammo, I think, for me when he is engaging with me as a director. I’m just going to tell him to dial down the sexiness.”
The film is set to start shooting next year, though it’s unclear if Sylvester Stallone will return as Rocky Balboa, the Philly palooka-turned-pugilist who started the whole franchise. Five years ago the Rocky series mutated, passing the baton to Jordan’s Adonis, the son of Carl Weather’s late Apollo Creed.
As far as resuscitating old IP, the first Creed was one of the most thoughtful and personalized, with filmmaker Ryan Coogler honoring the source while making it his own. Creed II continued the story, sans Coogler, and it ended on a note of semi-finality for Rocky himself, who was allowed to gracefully bow out rather than die out. But it’s clear from this news that whatever happens, the series will be in good hands.