Following on from the success of “Black Panther,” filmmaker Ryan Coogler is one of the most in-demand talents in Hollywood at this point.
Coogler’s hiring on ‘Panther’ followed his success with “Creed,” the “Rocky” spin-off that was celebrated by both critics and audiences. A sequel to that film has been in the works for some time but Coogler ruled himself out of the running to direct it early on – ultimately handing that duty over to rising young filmmaker Steven Caple Jr. instead.
It was thought the reason he bowed out was due to production schedule conflicts with ‘Panther’, and in a new interview with Variety’s Playback podcast he confirms it was, but it wasn’t the only reason:
“I mean of course it was possible. Creed was about my dad and me, so it’s a movie that I find difficult to watch. It’s difficult for me to even think about it, I’ve got so many emotional ties to it, not to mention you know how much I care about the people involved.
I care deeply for Mike, obviously, deeply for Tessa, and I grew incredibly close with Sly in making that. These are people that I wanna see do well and win at all costs. There’s timing, and that film for whatever reason it had to go when it’s going. I think it’s a blessing that it’s going, man. It’s amazing that they found an incredible filmmaker in Steven Caple Jr., who’s a guy I actually went to film school with, who I have a lot of love and respect for. I can’t wait to see what he does with it.”
Coogler has effectively no involvement in the sequel, Stallone having penned the script with “Luke Cage” showrunner Cheo Hodari Coker. Michael B. Jordan returns to the starring role in a story that finds him squaring off with Ivan Drago’s (Dolph Lundgren) son.
Coogler’s next project will be the drama “Wrong Answer” about a real-life math teacher in Atlanta who had to alter standardized test scores in order to secure funding for the school and students. Michael B. Jordan is set to star.