Marvel Studios’ Black Panther movie won’t reach theaters until 2018, but the title character – a.k.a. Wakanda’s own royal son T’Challa – will be joining the Marvel Cinematic Universe in 2016, when Chadwick Boseman (42, Get on Up) plays him in Captain America: Civil War. We’ve also gotten a brief glimpse of Black Panther in action in the Civil War teaser, while details on the character’s Vibranium-laced costume and role in the Civil War narrative has also been revealed.
Meanwhile, Marvel has been putting the creative team for Black Panther’s solo movie together; first by reportedly bringing Joe Robert Cole (one of its in-house writers) onboard to pen the script, and then by commencing the search for a director. It seems that search may soon reach its end, though, as now a candidate has formally entered talks for the job.
BMD is reporting that Ryan Coogler has entered negations with Marvel to direct Black Panther, and Variety‘s source are likewise confirming the news. This isn’t the first time the writer/director has been mentioned in the Black Panther movie conversation, as he was first reported as being in the mix to helm the project back in mid-October of this year. The source of those claims, Heroic Hollywood‘s Umberto Gonzalez, is now saying that Coogler passed on the Black Panther offer initially, which means he has since changed course and is now in proper talks with Marvel Studios.
Coogler is a filmmaker whose career is currently very much on the up and up, having followed up his critically-acclaimed 2013 indie directorial debut on Fruitvale Station with Creed, the equally critically-acclaimed Rocky spinoff/sequel that has been performing quite well at the box office since its recent opening in theaters (at the time of writing this). The latter film illustrates that Coogler can maintain his creative flair even while working within the constraints of a popular franchise that has well-established tropes – something that bodes well for him, should he indeed make the jump to the Marvel Cinematic Universe next.
Here’s what Coogler told Screen Rant‘s own Editor in Chief Kofi Outlaw, when asked if he felt that Black Panther (the first MCU solo movie to feature a black superhero) should, in turn, have a black director at the helm (click the previous link for the full quote):
Yeah, I think it’s important. Perspective is so important in art. It’s an important thing. That’s not to say that you can’t work outside yourself. When I was coming up, I made movies about things that were close to me; I made movies about things that weren’t close to me. But I definitely think that it helps when you are close to a subject. Like, I was an athlete for most of my life before I was a filmmaker. And that helped to inform me when writing [the ‘Creed’ script], when directing. Having had those types of experiences helped me inform this process…
Black Panther may revolve around a superhero who is also royalty from a fictional African country, but right off the bat there are clear parallels between T’Challa and Adonis Creed (Michael B. Jordan) from Creed (both are young black men with famous fathers, and are looking to make their own mark on the world) – enough so that it’s all the more apparent that Coogler is a obvious fit and intelligent choice to handle the material on the big screen. Plus, those have seen Creed know that Coogler is someone who should be able to put together captivating action and fight sequences featuring T’Challa, too (see that single-take boxing match from Creed that everyone’s talking about).
Captain America: Civil War will release on May 6, 2016, followed by Doctor Strange – November 4, 2016; Guardians of the Galaxy 2 – May 5, 2017; Spider-Man – July 28, 2017; Thor: Ragnarok – November 3, 2017; Black Panther – February 16, 2018; The Avengers: Infinity War Part 1 – May 4, 2018; Ant-Man and the Wasp – July 6, 2018; Captain Marvel – March 8, 2019; The Avengers: Infinity War Part 2 – May 3, 2019; Inhumans – July 12, 2019; and as-yet untitled Marvel movies on May 1, July 10 and November 6, 2020.