He first wowed us in 2013 with Fruitvale Station, before KO-ing us in 2015 with Rocky spinoff Creed, but it was in 2018 that Ryan Coogler really showed us what he was made off, when Black Panther became the highest-grossing film EVER by a black director. Now, it’s been confirmed that the 32-year-old will be returning to the Marvel stable to write and direct the Black Panther sequel. Phew.
As one of the most in-demand directors currently working in Hollywood, it wasn’t a certainty that the Oakland-born filmmaker would be returning for the sequel, so the confirmation that he’s now signed on the dotted line is great news.
Black Panther was a massive success both commercially and critically. The picture, which starred Chadwick Boseman as the titular superhero, grossed $700 million in the US and more than $1.3 billion worldwide, and is being talked about as a possible Oscar contender.
Marvel have been keen, over the past few years, to work with respected writer/directors with a strong individual style (think James Gunn with Guardians of the Galaxy and Taika Waititi with Thor: Ragnarok specifically). Despite that, however, many thought hiring Coogler for the first Black Panther was a risk – he’d never done a special effects-heavy picture before and had never dipped his toe into franchise waters. Yet the gamble paid off, as Black Panther became one of Marvel’s most successful films ever, even securing an amazing 97% on reviews website Rotten Tomatoes. So the news that he’s back is worth celebrating. Roll on Black Panther 2!