Michael B. Jordan says that he has "respect" and "a shit-ton of love" for Sylvester Stallone, following the announcement that the Rocky star will not be returning to the Creed franchise for its upcoming third installment. Stallone first portrayed the legendary Rocky Balboa in the 1976 film.

Jordan discussed why Stallone isn't returning and how the story will progress without him in a new interview with IGN:

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. 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. So, hopefully you guys will love what I’m thinking… what we’re cooking up. I think it’s going to be something special.

Michael B. Jordan
Jason Merritt/TERM / Getty Images

Jordan first starred as Adonis, the son of Apollo Creed, in 2015.

Creed III is set to hit theaters in 2022.

[Via]