CREED’s Ryan Coogler to Helm Marvel’s BLACK PANTHER
Ryan Coogler – the 29 year old filmmaker behind indie drama hit Fruitvale Station and last year’s critical and commercial knockout, Creed – has been previously named as one of the potential filmmakers being eyed to helm Black Panther, the first film from Marvel Studios with a black lead. “I think that there is a potential for a greater truth when a filmmaker comes from a particular culture that they’re dealing with,” Coogler once said when prompted to share whether or not he felt the potential director of the film should also be black. “That’s not to say that a filmmaker can’t work outside his or her cultural space. But I do believe that the opportunity for the film to have more nuance will come when you looking at filmmakers that bring a little bit of that from their personal experience.”
Fellow successful black filmmakers – Selma‘s Ava DuVernay and Straight Outta Compton‘s F. Gary Gray – were named as being in contention for the role of director, with DuVernay ultimately citing creative differences as her reason for passing and Gray choosing to instead helm Universal’s Furious 8. The February issue of Empire reportedly features Marvel Studios president and producer Kevein Feige confirming Coogler as the film’s director. “This one is important,” says Feige of Black Panther. “Not only do you get an unbelievable lead character, but you also get all of Wakanda which is a whole new setting and culture to explore.” In the Marvel Comics, Wakanda is the fictional African nation overseen by T’Challa, the young king who also serves as the superheroic Black Panther. Wakanda is a fantastical, super-advanced nation that is notably home to the fictional material Vibranium: one of the key elements of Captain America’s iconic shield, as well as a highly sought after resource (as seen in last Summer’s Avengers: Age of Ultron).
One of the key parts of Marvel’s Phase 3, Feige recently revealed that the 2018 film connects to the Avengers: Infinity War two-parter, arriving in 2019 and 2020. “It’s a big geo-political action adventure that focuses on the family and royal struggle of T’Challa in Wakanda, and what is means to be a king,” Feige revealed. “T’Challa’s story is very important to us as it links to the next Avengers films, which is why we brought it forward.”
With Creed being one of the finest films of 2015, Marvel Studios couldn’t have selected a better filmmaker to helm Black Panther – the film featuring the first black superhero of mainstream comics. Portrayed by Chadwick Boseman (42, Get On Up), Black Panther will make his live-action debut in this Summer’s Captain America: Civil War. Coogler’s Black Panther debuts February 16, 2018.