Word is making the Internet rounds that Ryan Coogler (Fruitvale Station, Creed) is in talks to take the director’s chair for Marvel’s Black Panther. There have been a number of well-known, successful directors in talks with Marvel about Black Panther, but Ava DuVernay (Selma) turned down the job due to creative control issues and F. Gary Gray (Straight Outta Compton) went on to take the Furious 8 job that took him out of the Black Panther running. Either would have made a fine choice, but perhaps Coogler is an even better choice.
If you haven’t seen Creed yet, then you’re missing what might be the key to Coogler’s future success, taking a well established franchise character and making fresh and interesting in a real world manner. Creed is rocking a 93% Rotten Tomato score, matching the first Rocky movie’s score which is the highest of all the Rocky movies. It’s a great bookend to the franchise taking Rocky full circle. Coogler’s work with Stallone shines as the star is receiving a lot of buzz over his performance. Don’t be surprised if his name pops up in the best supporting actor categories during awards season.
While Coogler only has two major films under his belt, Fruitvale Station and Creed, Black Panther would be the next logical step for this young director. If Coogler can continue his success with an even bigger budget movie, he can firmly establish his place in Hollywood. Let’s face it though, Marvel would be lucky to get him for Black Panther, let’s hope the talks go through.
One thing is certain, Marvel isn’t going to allow a Fantastic Four Josh Trank type situation to develop with Black Panther. While Ava DuVernay might be unwilling to work within Marvel’s creative cocoon, perhaps Coogler is just at the right stage in his directorial career to thrive with that extra support. Considering the performances Coogler has gotten from Michael B. Jordan and Sylvester Stallone, I would love to see him work with Black Panther star Chadwick Boseman (42). We’ll get our first look at Boseman as Black Panther in Captain America: Civil War when the movie hits theaters screens May 6th, 2016.
Black Panther is scheduled for release Febuary 16th, 2018.