Last month it was confirmed that Michael B. Jordan is directing the third Creed film, and it’s also been revealed Sylvester Stallone won’t make his return.

Creed III is scheduled to arrive in theaters on Nov. 22, 2022, and it’ll be the first in the franchise without Stallone portraying his iconic character Rocky Balboa. In an interview with IGN, Jordan wanted to make it clear the film is in good hands, and there will always be a little bit of Stallone’s DNA in the series. 

“I think that Sly let it be known that he wasn’t coming back for this one but I think, you know, his essence and his spirit… there’s always going to be a little bit of Rocky within Adonis,” said Jordan. “But this is a Creed franchise, and we really want to build this story and this world around him moving forward. So, it’s always respect and always a shit-ton of love for what he’s built, but we really want to push and navigate Adonis forward and the family that he created.” 

The Creed series is a spinoff of Stallone’s own Rocky movies, and the now-74-year-old actor/writer/director also co-wrote the second Creed. His character was given some closure at the end of Creed II, but it’s clear Stallone could return in the future if he so wishes.

“Hopefully you guys will love what I’m thinking…what we’re cooking up,” Jordan added. “I think it’s going to be something special.”

The script for Creed III is written by Keenan Coogler and Zach Baylin, based on an outline from Ryan Coogler, who helmed and co-wrote the first film and went on to direct Jordan in Black Panther.