The director of Fruitvale Station and Creed dips his toe in the Marvel Cinematic Universe with Black Panther, who will make his first appearance in Captain America: Civil War.
There was a lot of hubbub after the release of the latest Captain America: Civil War trailer. 50% of that was complains that Tom Holland‘s Spiderman was nowhere to be seen. Some more positive hubbub was in reaction to the first appearance of Black Panther, played by Chadwick Boseman. The ruler of Wakanda made a brief but dramatic showing, so naturaly questions have been bubbling about Black Panther’s solo outing in 2018. We don’t have many set pieces, but there were rumours about who would be running the show. We’ve now got confirmation of the director who’ll be taking on Black Panther.
The news from Screen Rant is that Ryan Coogler will be taking the helm for Black Panther. This will be the director’s first encounter with the Marvel Universe, and he’s not got an easy job. Black Panther‘s a package deal – you can’t do a film about the ruler of Wakanda without… you know, Wakanda. The African nation of Wakanda is an entirely new setting that the Marvel Cinematic Universe hasn’t really tuched on yet. We got a peak in Avengers Age of Ultron but there’s a lot more to see of the birthplace of vibranium. Kevin Fiege mentioned the importance of getting Wakanda right in the February edition of Empire:
“This one is important. 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.”
So the pressure is definitely on for Coogler. The director already had a very successful 2015. After directing Michael B Jordan in the acclaimed Fruitvale Station, the actor and director have reunited for the hotly anticipated Creed. The Rocky follow-up is bound to stay in the conversation come Oscar-time, but awards or not Coogler will no doubt be expected to keep the winning streak going with Black Panther.
Ryan Coogler was one of a few names that have been in the running for Marvel’s Phase 3. Other directors in the air supply include Ava Duvernay and F. Gary Gray. Coogler joins the Phase 3 family that includes Scott Derrickson, who’s be directing Doctor Strange (2016) and Taika Waititi who’s directing Thor Ragnarok (2017).
In a previous interview with Screen Rant, Coogler spoke about the importance of finding a black director to bring Black Panther to life. He also relates it back to female superheroes and female directors:
“…I think that there is a potential for a greater truth when a filmmaker comes from a particular culture that they’re dealing with. 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.
…If I was in a position where I’m making a movie about the first woman superhero that’s every going to get released all over the world, I would do everything in my power to find a woman to direct that movie out of the simple fact that I think it will give you a cultural perspective. I don’t think that’s wrong of a studio to do. I think it’s actually responsible. It’s responsible because it’s their job to make the truest, best film.”
Black Panther is due to start production late next year with a 2018 release. Watch this space for all the latest movie news.