Marvel’s Black Panther has finally found its director. Marvel Entertainment has confirmed after a great deal of speculation and rumors that Creed and Fruitvale Station director Ryan Coogler will direct Black Panther, which is scheduled for a February 2018 release. However, T’Challa aka Black Panther, will first be introduced in Marvel’s Captain America: Civil War later this year. Chadwick Boseman will bring the character to life in Civil War and the solo Black Panther film.
Speaking on Coogler’s hiring, Marvel Studios head and producer Kevin Feige stated: “We are fortunate to have such an esteemed filmmaker join the Marvel family. The talents Ryan showcased in his first two films easily made him our top choice to direct ‘Black Panther.’ Many fans have waited a long time to see Black Panther in his own film, and with Ryan we know we’ve found the perfect director to bring T’Challa’s story to life.”
Ryan Coogler has been on a role as of late. He made his feature directorial debut with the highly acclaimed Fruitvale Station. He followed that up with this year’s Creed, a sequel and spin-off to the Rocky movie franchise. Creed has become a box office and critical hit. The film earned a Golden Globe award for Sylvester Stallone. Black Panther looks like a good progression for Coogler, who did well in working on a franchise picture with Creed. However, Creed will probably have a fraction of the budget for Marvel’s Black Panther. In addition, Coogler will have to be able to work with the Marvel Studios and Disney process. With that in mind, Black Panther has to fulfill certain obligations and tick off certain boxes so it fits in with the rest of the Marvel Cinematic Universe. That specifically led to Edgar Wright leaving Ant-Man, after he developed the project for years.
Previously, Ava DuVernay looked like she was going to helm Black Panther, but ultimately she decided to move on. Still, Coogler looks like a good fit for this material looking how he can play around in different genres and go from making a deep and social character drama to a sports-themed movie like Creed that builds off of six previously established Rocky films.
Marvel’s Black Panther hits theaters on February 16, 2018. Boseman will first appear as Black Panther in Captain America: Civil War, due out on May 6, 2016.