After Selma director Ava DuVernay passed on helming the forthcoming Marvel Studios project, Black Panther has remained without anyone to take the creative reins of the production. With the film already assigned a February 2018 theatrical release, the search for a writer and a director is currently underway, with Joe Robert Cole (a member of Marvel Studios' in-house writing team) reportedly lined up to pen the script and F. Gary Gray (Straight Outta Compton) having recently been linked to the project as a potential director.
However, after confirming his role as director of Fast & Furious 8, Gray appears to have taken himself out of the running, while he pursues another lucrative franchise. Now, it seems Marvel might be honing in on a younger Hollywood talent to take on T'Challa's first solo movie adventure.
According to Heroic Hollywood, Ryan Coogler - director of Fruitvale Station and the upcoming Rocky spinoff/sequel Creed - is being eyed to collaborate with Chadwick Boseman (who has been cast as T'Challa and will first play the character in Captain America: Civil War) on Black Panther.
Given Coogler's handling of the latter film and his apparent ability to collaborate on a big-budget, studio-backed franchise production, the young independent filmmaker could be just the boost of ingenuity, intelligence, and vitality that this Marvel film will need going forward towards its ultimate release.
It's safe to assume that a deal between Coogler and Marvel Studios is not at all guaranteed at this juncture, so it's quite possible someone other than Coogler will ultimately direct Black Panther. HH also suspects that Coogler has expressed an interest in directing Cyborg for Warner Bros. and DC, so Black Panther is an opportunity that will not be taken lightly by Coogler - seeing as he may have already given serious thought to tackling another comic-based property.
Here is the relevant excerpt from HH's article, on that matter:
On a side note, Coogler sat right in front of me in the VIP section of the DC Hall H panel at Comic Con back in July so I suspected he was maybe considering Cyborg for the studio. I know Marvel and I know they track heat. I'm hearing nothing but great things about Creed.
Depending on how well Coogler handles the story of Apollo Creed's son come November, there may be all the more reason to hope the filmmaker moves next to the Marvel camp of cinema. Even as it is unfortunate to see DuVernay and Gray pass on a project where they would have brought a rounded and diverse body of work and professional experience to the table, maybe younger blood is the best way to go about further expanding the MCU with Black Panther - especially as Marvel Studios moves into Phase 3.
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.
Source: Heroic Hollywood