I still didn’t hear no bell.

Not surprisingly, given the enduring popularity of the franchise, MGM has announced that Creed III is officially happening. The movie now has its release date: November 23, 2022. And confirming rumors that have been around for months, series star Michael B. Jordan will make his directorial debut with the project. (Ryan Coogler directed the first Creed; Steven Caple Jr. directed 2018’s Creed II.)

Here was Jordan’s statement on the news:

Directing has always been an aspiration, but the timing had to be right. Creed III is that moment — a time in my life where I've grown more sure of who I am, holding agency in my own story, maturing personally, growing professionally, and learning from the Greats like Ryan Coogler, most recently Denzel Washington, and other top tier directors I respect. All of which sets the table for this moment.

Several months ago, Jordan’s Creed co-star, Tessa Thompson, all but spoiled this news when she gave an interview around the time that Jordan won the annual title of People Magazine’s Sexiest Man Alive. She joked that the honor was “gonna 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.”

Jordan assuming the director’s chair honors the precedent established by the Rocky franchise that gave eventually gave birth to Creed. Sylvester Stallone wrote and starred in the first Rocky, then went on to direct Rocky II, Rocky IIIRocky IV, and Rocky Balboa. Stallone co-starred in Creed and Creed II as Balboa, who becomes the trailer of Jordan’s Adonis Creed. It’s not clear yet whether he will return for Creed III. The previous film sort of wrote Rocky out of the franchise, but can you imagine one of these movies without Stallone? Fans would not be pleased.

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