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Ryan Coogler on Directing ‘Black Panther’

Image via Marvel

Image via Marvel

“Fruitvale Station” is a well-respected film that definitely had its fans, but it wasn’t until last year’s “Creed” hit theaters that most began to realize just what a talent director Ryan Coogler is. He seemed prime for the picking for Marvel — a studio with a knack for grabbing up-and-coming skilled directors for a bargain price — and as it turns out, all rumors and speculation of him working with Marvel for his next films proved true.

Earlier this week, Marvel revealed that Coogler would be directing the “Black Panther” film, and while Marvel Studios head Kevin Feige had plenty to say about Coogler’s joining Marvel’s world, we’d yet to hear anything from the director himself. Luckily for us, the folks over at HeyUGuys managed to have a quick sit-down with Coogler, and get his thoughts on his new directing gig.

Director Ryan Coogler and actor Michael B. Jordan.

Director Ryan Coogler and actor Michael B. Jordan.

 â€œI’m excited. I grew very into pop culture, very into comic books, so it’s something that is just as personal to me as the last couple of films I was able to make. I feel really fortunate to be able to work on something I’m this passionate about again.”

It’s an incredibly vague statement, to be sure, but in addition to this, HeyUGuys was able to confirm that Coogler would “absolutely” be approaching “Black Panther” in the same intimate way he approached “Creed.”

If you’ve yet to check out “Creed,” it’s an emotional thrill ride. I’m sure I’m not the first one to tell you this. Not only was Coogler able to nail the boxing portions, but more than anything, he makes you care about the people on screen. No matter the subject, film should — first and foremost — be about the characters and their struggles. There’s never a moment onscreen in “Creed” where we forget that these characters are people, and that’s the kind of hard-hitting drama we need for a film like “Black Panther.” That’s not to say the film needs to be dead-serious, but whenever we’re able to connect with the superheroes on a more intimate level, it’s usual to the movie’s benefit.

The character of Black Panther will be making his Marvel Cinematic Universe debut in “Captain America: Civil War” later this year, but the “Black Panther film isn’t due for another two-and-a-half years. That’s still quite a ways away, and it makes me wonder if we can expect T’Challa to make an appearance in any other Marvel pictures before then. If so, just how much of a blank slate will Coogler be working with in terms of characters? As of right now, we know nothing about the “Black Panther” story, so it’ll be interesting to see what direction they decide to take for the plot. Will it be an origin story or something completely different?

“Black Panther” hits theaters on July 6, 2018.

If you want to get your first glimpse of the character, check him out in the trailer for “Captain America: Civil War.”

What do you think of Coogler’s comments, and what do you expect out of the “Black Panther” film? Do you think we’ll be seeing more of the character before his solo film? Let us know your thoughts down below!


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