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Marvel’s Black Panther is reportedly closing in on writer Joe Robert Cole

Marvel’s in-house writing program may have produced the writer for Black Panther. According to TheWrap, program alum Joe Robert Cole is closing in on a deal to pen the script for the upcoming addition to the superhero franchise. Sources also tell Variety that negotiations are in the works.

Black Panther will feature Chadwick Boseman as T’Challa, the star of the comic book series. In the comics, T’Challa is the prince of Wakanda, a fictional African nation that is technologically advanced and known for having never been conquered by outsiders. When his father is murdered, T’Challa becomes the next king and earns the title of the Black Panther.

As the Panther, T’Challa is granted with extraordinary physical abilities. His strength, speed, reflexes, stamina, agility, and senses are all enhanced, making him a skilled hunter and tracker. On top of that, he’s given the knowledge of all of the Panthers past, which makes him one of the smartest men in the world. With his unique set of talents, he’s a useful teammate to the Avengers, including Iron Man and Captain America.

While Cole wrote and directed Amber Lake, a 2011 indie thriller, Black Panther would be his biggest project to date. Of course, he’s certainly familiar with the Marvel universe after participating in the studio’s in-house writing program. Fellow alum Nicole Pearlman was able to use her experience with the program to pen a successful screenplay for Guardians of the Galaxy.

A director hasn’t been locked down for Black Panther yet, although there have been many rumors about possible contenders. According to TheWrap, Marvel plans to have a finished screenplay before approaching directors. The film will be produced by Kevin Feige.

Black Panther is expected to open in theaters on July 6, 2018.