A month ago, it was reported that Marvel Studios was in talks with Creed director Ryan Coogler to helm its upcoming Black Panther movie featuring the African superhero. Those talks appear to have gone well, as Coogler was confirmed as the film’s director this week.
The studio confirmed the deal via Marvel.com, and praised the young filmmaker’s two prior directorial projects: 2013’s critically praised drama Fruitvale Station and the recently released Rocky sequel Creed, which has already earned supporting actor Sylvester Stallone a Golden Globe Award.
“We are fortunate to have such an esteemed filmmaker join the Marvel family,” said Black Panther producer and Marvel Studios president Kevin Feige in a statement accompanying the announcement. “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.”
Set to make his debut in this year’s Captain America: Civil War, Black Panther will be played by 42 actor Chadwick Boseman. Little is known about the Black Panther movie’s plot, but the film is based on a script by Joe Robert Cole (Amber Lake). Ulysses Klaue, the character portrayed by Andy Serkis in Avengers: Age of Ultron, is rumored to play a major role in the film due to his character’s status as one of Black Panther’s recurring foes in the Marvel Comics universe.
Created by Stan Lee and Jack Kirby, Black Panther first appeared in a 1966 issue of the Fantastic Four series and is considered the first black superhero in mainstream comic books. The leader of the African nation of Wakanda, Black Panther has protected his technologically advanced country and its rich resources against invaders countless times over the years in Marvel’s comic-book continuity, and has occasionally served as a member of the Avengers.
Black Panther will be Coogler’s third directorial feature, and is scheduled to hit theaters on February 16, 2018.