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Michael B. Jordan 'excited' about Creed II director

Michael B. Jordan is "excited" that up-and-coming director Steven Caple, Jr. has been chosen to succeed Ryan Coogler in the Creed franchise.

The Fantastic Four actor was directed by Coogler in the 2015 boxing drama, a spin-off of the Rocky movie series, but he chose not to return to helm the follow-up, and Sylvester Stallone later announced he would direct as well as co-write, produce and reprise his role as Rocky Balboa.

However, on Monday (11Dec17), it was revealed that Creed II would now be directed by Steven Caple, Jr. and Michael shared his happiness about his hiring by sharing Steven's picture on Instagram.

"Excited for Coogler to hand over the reins to Steven Caple, Jr. - our director for Creed 2!" he wrote in the caption. "Can't wait to bring you guys the next chapter of our story...coming at you November 2018! #Creed2" followed by fist bump emojis.

Steven only has one other feature film to his name - he wrote and directed 2016 drama The Land, but also directed 2015 TV series Class and numerous short films.

Stallone explained why Creed II needed an emerging talent in the director's chair in a statement.

"The character of Adonis Creed reflects this generation and its challenges," he said. "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!"

Michael will reprise his role as Adonis Johnson, also known as Adonis Creed, Tessa Thompson is back as Bianca, while Dolph Lundgren, who played Ivan Drago, the boxer who killed Creed's father Apollo in the ring in 1985 movie Rocky IV, will also be part of the Creed sequel. Stallone has teased that Drago's son will be played by professional wrestler Brock Lesnar.

Stallone has written the script with Cheo Hodari Coker and production is scheduled to begin in the spring (18) for a November release.