Sylvester Stallone has confirmed on Instagram that he is producing and directing Creed 2. 

This news all but confirms that Ryan Coogler won’t direct the sequel.

Coogler is busy himself, he has Black Panther coming out in February and will direct the upcoming feature Wrong Answer, starring Jordan and written by Ta-Nehsi Coates, so this move isn’t unexpected. There is also an upcoming television series that he is involved with as well. Also, we could be thinking super far ahead, but we all know that Black Panther is going to perform well at the box office. A sequel for that could already be penciled in on his list.

Earlier this year, Stallone hinted on Instagram that the storyline for the second movie may revolve around an Adonis Creed/Ivan Drago storyline.

In Rocky IV, Drago kills Apollo Creed in the ring, essentially leaving Adonis (Michael B. Jordan) without a father. So what Stallone might be hinting at in his above post is that, for “Creed 2,” Adonis may avenge his father’s death in the ring somehow. He certainly wouldn’t be fighting Drago (or could he?); so is it possible that Drago also has a son who’s a boxer like his father?

“I know Ryan is probably going to be gone for a couple years,” said Stallone in January 2016, adding, “So there will be a quandary on: Do we work with another director and have Ryan produce, or do we wait? There’s a diminishing time acceptance of a sequel. Now they are cranking them out in a year.”

On other potential stories they’ve talked about, Stallone shared, “One version of the story would take place in the past… bringing back Carl Weathers to play Apollo Creed,” who died in 1985’s “Rocky IV” at the hands of Ivan Drago of the former Soviet Union, portrayed by Dolph Lundgren.  Stallone said at the time that he “recently bumped into” Carl Weathers and he was impressed that he was still in “good shape.”  Another potential story for “Creed 2” shared in the same 2016 interview: “… a linear story with Apollo’s son Adonis (Michael B. Jordan) taking on another challenger.”

Stallone explained: “You’ll have him face a different opponent, which I would say is a more ferocious, big Russian… You can start to meld my experiences and then you start to bring different cultures into it. And you can see what’s happening with the Russians today in America. The complication will come with the girl’s ambition, because she’s not Adrian. She has places to go, things to see, the clock is running on her hearing.”

“The girl” he’s referring to is Tessa Thompson’s Bianca, who Shannon Houston wrote about wonderfully (here) as a potential star of any “Creed” sequel.

“Ryan has some ideas of going forward and backward and actually seeing Rocky and Apollo together,” Stallone said, adding, “Think of ‘The Godfather 2.’ That’s what he was thinking of, which was kind of ambitious.”

But, with Coogler not returning, one wonders where this is headed now.