Since its Nov. 25 (2015) release, Creed has earned $105 million at the U.S. box office. Sylvester Stallone won a Golden Globes award for reprising his role as Rocky Balboa, and Academy Awards recognition could soon follow.

That kind of success leads to sequels. (The Rocky spinoff’s popularity and critical acclaim might have spawned a follow-up, even without its impressive box office grosses.) So it’s no surprise that MGM wants to move — and move quickly — on another Creed movie.

According to Variety‘s Ramin Setoodeh, the studio is aiming to have a sequel ready for November 2017, which would be two years after the first film was released. Stallone, who was a producer on Creed and would surely have a similar role for the next film, acknowledged that the preference in Hollywood is to move fast on a sequel and not let a franchise fade from pop culture conversation.

“There’s a diminishing time acceptance of a sequel,” Stallone told Setoodeh in a previous article. “Now they are cranking them out in a year.”

Stallone’s right; you can wait too long to follow up a hit. Star Trek Into Darkness (2013) was problematic for many reasons, but coming out four years after J.J. Abrams’ initial reboot failed to capitalize on any heat that movie (and its cast) generated. Of course, you can always wait a long, long time and hope to cash in on nostalgia, as Mad Max: Fury Road did last year. But Creed kind of already played that card, coming out 30 years after Rocky IV and nine years after Rocky Balboa. (Yes, we are intentionally overlooking Rocky V, as everyone should.)

However, scheduling such a fast turnaround time for a Creed sequel might prevent director Ryan Coogler from helming the film.

Earlier this week (Jan. 11), Marvel officially announced hiring Coogler to direct its upcoming Black Panther project, a partnership that had been rumored for months. With that movie scheduled for a Feb. 18, 2018 release, it’s difficult to see how Coogler can make both movies. But given that doing Black Panther seemed a virtual certainty, producers seemed to accept that another Creed film would have to move on without Coogler, though he could still have a writing and producing role.

A natural replacement would be Stallone himself, as he directed four of the six Rocky films. But was his performance so good in Creed, along with the quality of the movie itself, because he had Coogler directing him and writing the original script? Stallone surely had input on his role in the film and Rocky Balboa showed that he can make a good Rocky film which doesn’t involve the character being a boxing superhero.

However, if Adonis Creed, not Rocky, is the main character — though there’s been talk of the story partly involving flashbacks with Rocky and Apollo Creed, which would have to involve some significant digital effects — is Stallone the right guy for that? It may also be worth noting that he hasn’t directed a film since The Expendables in 2010.


About Ian Casselberry

Ian is a writer, editor, and podcaster. You can find his work at Awful Announcing and The Comeback. He's written for Sports Illustrated, Yahoo Sports, MLive, Bleacher Report, and SB Nation.