Ryan Coogler knows there's pressure to deliver a great Black Panther 2, but he isn't letting it faze him. Coogler was instrumental in creating the version of Black Panther that was a global hit earlier this year. After delivering a $1 billion blockbuster with a primarily black cast, he is finally confirmed to return to write and direct its sequel.
Marvel Studios had been developing a Black Panther movie for years as a way to highlight the great character of T'Challa and world of Wakanda, but also as an effort to diversify the look of their lead characters. Chadwick Boseman's portrayal of Black Panther popped in Captain America: Civil War, with his mystery and standout fighting style helping him steal scenes throughout. This only increased excitement in a solo movie, and Black Panther delivered a brand new corner of the MCU filled with rich characters and tons of talent. The critical and financial success guaranteed a sequel was on the way, but with it comes a whole new level of pressure.
IndieWire asked Ryan Coogler about the pressure that he feels as the director of Black Panther 2. Coogler has to follow a game-changing box office run and overwhelming critical praise, and somehow try to find a way to top it in a sequel. As high as the bar is raised, Coogler says he and the rest of the Marvel Studios team are going to keep the process simple to hopefully deliver another great film.
When it comes to making a sequel, I’ve never done it before, a sequel to something that I’ve directed myself. So I think there’s gonna be a lot of pressure there, but what we’re going to try to do is just focus on the work, like we always do. Really try to go step by step and try to quiet everything else around us, really focus on trying to make something that has some type of meaning.
As teased by Coogler, Black Panther 2 will be his first true sequel he's made, but it isn't the first franchise film he directed that brought prior continuity into it. Coogler is responsible for the relaunch of the Rocky franchise but through the eyes of Adonis Creed, played by Michael B. Jordan. Creed had six Rocky movies to follow, but Coogler found a way to reinvent the franchise while still maintaining the core concepts of the franchise and the traits of returning characters. He may have passed on directing Creed II (which comes out in two weeks), but he did so to direct Black Panther. Since he and Marvel are already have a solid direction for the story, taking the process one step at a time is obviously the best course of action.
While Black Panther 2 now has the pressure of living up to the first film, there was equal amounts of pressure on Black Panther to deliver. There had long been a notion that largely black casts don't translate to massive box office success and it was up to Black Panther to dismiss that belief. Coogler said there's been pressure that feels "insurmountable each time" on all three of his films, so this isn't entirely new. Expectations will undeniably be high for what Coogler and Marvel make next, but it appears they have the right focus to this point, so Black Panther 2 looks to be in good hands and able to withstand the pressure.
- Captain Marvel (2019) release date: Mar 08, 2019
- The Avengers 4 / Avengers: Endgame (2019) release date: Apr 26, 2019
- Spider-Man: Far From Home (2019) release date: Jul 05, 2019