Marvel Studios’ search for a director for their upcoming Black Panther film just got really interesting, according to a scoop from Heroic Hollywood. It looks like Ryan Coogler, who directed the excellent Fruitvale Station and the upcoming Rocky spin-off Creed, will helm the project.
Selma director Ava DuVernay was originally offered Black Panther, but ultimately decided a big superhero tentpole wasn’t for her. Straight Outta Compton director F. Gary Gray was also offered the job, but he recently decided to stay at Universal and direct Fast and Furious 8 instead. Apparently Joe Robert Cole of the upcoming FX series American Crime Story is also the top contender to write the script.
The Black Panther movie is a huge priority for Marvel Studios, as its their chance to really make a commitment to diversity and have an African-American (actually, just African) hero on the big screen in his own movie for the first time. Yes, I know there was Shaq as Steel back in the ’90s, but let’s all agree that never really happened.
Marvel is introducing the character of T’Challa first in Captain America: Civil War, and even made a show of it by announcing actor Chadwick Boseman by bringing him out on stage along with Robert Downey Jr. and Chris Evans when that movie was announced last year. The company even name-dropped Black Panther’s home of Wakanda in Avengers: Age of Ultron. Marvel is clearly setting up the Black Panther to stand toe-to-toe with Cap, Iron Man, and Thor.
The release date for Black Panther was recently shifted to release during Black History Month on February 16, 2018, pushed up several months from its original release date of 4th of July, 2018.
HT: Heroic Hollywood
IMAGE: Marvel Comics