Ryan Coogler Would Love to Direct a Female-Led Black Panther Spin-Off
There is no question that Chadwick Boseman and Michael B. Jordan were electric as T’Challa and Erik Killmonger respectively in Ryan Coogler’s Black Panther. As the king and his would-be usurper, Boseman and Jordan could have carried this film on their shoulders based on their superb performances alone, but of course, they didn’t have to. Black Panther‘s women, led by Danai Gurira’s general Okoye, Lupita Nyong’o’s super spy Nakia, and Letitia Wright’s genius inventor Shuri were standouts. So much so, that during the stretch of the film where T’Challa is thought dead and the story centers on their efforts to protect his family and save Wakanda, you could be forgiven for wishing there was an entire film devoted to their exploits. You wouldn’t be alone.
Variety reports from the Cannes Film Festival that Coogler would be very interested in directing a film based on the women of Black Panther. The writer/director spoke about the possibility during a nearly two-hour talk during the festival, in which moderator Elvis Mitchell asked him whether he believed Black Panther‘s women were as important as the men.
“I think you could argue they are more important,” Coogler said. “There’s a whole section of the film where T’Challa is out of the movie and you’re just following the women. That’s one of my favorite parts of the movie when I watched it, and I didn’t expect that. That part of the movie you feel like you’re watching something fresh and new,” he said. “That part of it was exciting. We have these actresses who could easily carry their own movie. I would watch a movie with them!”
The next question was, of course, whether he’d ever want to be the one to direct a spin-off with them.
“Oh man,” Coogler said. “That would be amazing if the opportunity came up. They did it in the comic-book version.”
For now, Coogler is permitted to bask in the colossal success of Black Panther, which not only introduced us to these incredible characters, but also to a vision of an African nation unconquered and unbowed. It’s the most singular Marvel film in the studio’s history. Before Black Panther, it might have seemed like beyond a long shot for any studio to make a massive blockbuster starring an all-black cast.
“For me, it was, why can’t film have more black movies?” Coogler said in Cannes. “People said maybe these films won’t travel. For us, it was an issue of, we don’t know if that’s the case. It was great to have partners at Marvel and Disney who were excited about that as well.”
Now the question is, when will Marvel and Disney give Okoye, Nakia and Shuri their own film? We’ve got a director in mind.
Featured image: Marvel Studios’ BLACK PANTHER. L to R: Nakia (Lupita Nyong’o) and Shuri (Letitia Wright). Photo: Matt Kennedy. ©Marvel Studios 2018