Deadline reports Disney has signed Ryan Coogler’s production company to an exclusive 5-year development deal. A Black Panther Disney+ show is on the way, with maybe more to come. This announcement comes amid the successful first season run of WandaVision on Disney+. With fans chomping at the bit for news of Phase 4 and other upcoming MCU projects, news of the Black Panther director’s deal couldn’t come at a better time.
Coogler, a Bay Area native, rocketed to stardom with his first feature film, 2013’s Fruitvale Station. Coogler was hired to direct 2018’s Black Panther after rebooting the Rocky franchise with Creed, and the rest is history. Black Panther (the movie) became a cultural juggernaut, Black Panther (the superhero) became a key member of The Avengers, and Coogler almost won Time Magazine’s Person of the Year. Now, Disney has locked the iconic director and his production company for the foreseeable future. Clearly, the relationship between the director and the studio must seen as mutually beneficial.
Proximity Media was founded by Ryan Coogler, Zinzi Coogler, Sev Ohanian, Archie Davis, Peter Nicks, and Ludwing Göransson. Göransson, notably, composed the music for Black Panther and is responsible for The Mandalorian‘s iconic theme song. He also produced Childish Gambino’s Grammy-nominated album Awaken, My Love! and Grammy-winning single This Is America. Clearly flush with talent and ability, Proximity Media looks to continue their strong run of excellent productions.
Proximity’s exclusive deal with Disney includes productions beyond the upcoming sequel to Black Panther. Coogler and co. will produce multiple television series as per the announcement. The first series in development is described as “a drama based in the Kingdom of Wakanda.” Ultimately, it looks like a Black Panther Disney+ show is being developed initially.
Bob Iger, Disney’s Executive Chairman, said of the deal:
Ryan Coogler is a singular storyteller whose vision and range have made him one of the standout filmmakers of his generation. With Black Panther, Ryan brought a groundbreaking story and iconic characters to life in a real, meaningful and memorable way, creating a watershed cultural moment. We’re thrilled to strengthen our relationship and look forward to telling more great stories with Ryan and his team.
Reign of the King
Disney’s deal with Proximity Media looks to continue a fruitful pairing between Coogler & the MCU. 2018’s Black Panther was a signature moment not only for Marvel and Disney, but for black storytelling. Black Panther the first film in the MCU film directed by a black filmmaker, but more, the film itself completely destroyed negative stigmas surrounding movies with a predominantly black cast and crew. Released during Black History Month that year, Black Panther rode a wave of strong pre-release excitement to box office dominance. As a result, Coogler’s Wakanda-set epic was the highest grossing film of 2018, pulling in over $1.3 billion worldwide.
Due to online buzz and strong reactions to trailers, some fans were able to see the writing on the wall before release.
Black Panther is going to make so much damn money #BlackPanther ✊🏿😻
— coots™️ (@CootsBrandon) January 4, 2018
The Future of Wakanda
Black Panther was crowned the king of that year’s film landscape due in large part to Coogler and the picture’s star, the now-departed Chadwick Boseman. How the loss of Boseman will affect the production of Black Panther II seems like a harsh question to wonder about, but fans would do well to trust Coogler and his team to make the right decisions. After all, they seem to have stuck the landing with Black Panther. It’s already been stated that the role of T’Challa will not be recast, therefore Coogler must have other plans for how the affairs of Wakanda will be brought to order.
Will T’Challa’s sister Shuri become the Queen of Wakanda? Will the film somehow follow T’Challa in the afterlife, similar to how Black Panther let us glimpse his father T’Chaka? Or will former king (and frequent Ryan Coogler collaborator) Michael B. Jordan somehow return as Eric Killmonger and claim the throne once again? Will we see how The Blip affected life in Wakanda? Moreover, will there be a monument at the location where Thanos snapped away half of the universe?
What would you like to see from a Black Panther Disney+ show? Drop a comment below or find us on Twitter at @LRM_Exclusive or on Instagram at @LRMExclusive.