Ryan Coogler Returning to Wakanda to Write & Direct Black Panther Sequel
Writer/director Ryan Coogler has closed a deal to write and direct the sequel to his juggernaut global sensation Black Panther. The Hollywood Reporter has it that the uber-talented young filmmaker has quietly inked his deal with Marvel, in what could only be described as one of the bigger “no duh” contracts in recent memory. Black Panther not only grossed $1.3 billion worldwide, but it was also a critical sensation and cultural touchstone. While it was likely never in doubt that Coogler would be returning for the sequel (THR reports that Marvel wanted to keep the creative team as intact as possible), timing was going to be the issue. Thankfully it seems like they’ve worked out whatever scheduling kinks they had and Coogler will now be heading up what will be the most anticipated sequel in Hollywood. After creating the world of Wakanda and establishing the characters of T’Challa (Chadwick Boseman), Shuri (Letitia Wright), Okoye (Danai Gurira) and Nakia (Lupita Nyong’o), Coogler will be continuing their story in one of the film industry’s hottest properties.
Black Panther was a groundbreaking achievement (realizing that Coogler is a mere 32-years old right now is humbling), one that captured the interest of the country, and ultimately the world, in a way rarely seen in film. What’s more, Black Panther generated crucial conversations inside and outside Hollywood about the importance of representation. It was the first superhero film on this scale directed by an African American and starring a predominately African American cast. Meanwhile, Coogler assembled a crew of incredibly talented women, including costume designer Ruth E. Carter, production designer Hannah Beachler, and cinematographer Rachel Morrison to help bring his vision of Wakanda to light. Even before the film premiered it was evident something special was happening. One example of the excitement could be found in a hashtag that sprung up on Twitter; #WhatBlackPantherMeansToMe. As we wrote this past February, “the hashtag, started by @Maria_Giesela with @BlackGirlNerds, posed a question that lit up Twitter. Black Panther‘s cultural significance has made it more than just a film—it’s becoming a global event that is generating a level of excitement, and relief, we haven’t seen before.”
Black Panther is now a part of film history, and Coogler has a good chance of earning a Best Picture and Best Director Oscar nomination for his work (to say nothing of the many noms we anticipate the film will garner, including for the aforementioned Carter, Beachler, and Morrison). Despite Black Panther becoming a massive global phenomenon, Coogler didn’t rush signing up for the sequel that just about everyone was demanding. Now that the deal is done, THR reports that Coogler plans to write the script in 2019 and start production in late 2019 or early 2020.
His next projects are the drama Wrong Answer with his Black Panther and Creed collaborator Michael B. Jordan and he’s executive producing Creed 2 and Lebron James’ Space Jam sequel.
Featured image: L to R: Danai Gurira (Okoye) on set with Director Ryan Coogler. Photo: Matt Kennedy. ©Marvel Studios 2018