Marvel Studios is reportedly closing in on a director for the upcoming superhero flick Black Panther. Sources tell Birth.Movies.Death. that the studio is in talks with Ryan Coogler, who helmed Creed, which opened in theaters late last month.
Acording to THR, Coogler and Marvel’s talks are picking up after a period in which they’d “cooled.” However, with Creed making a strong showing at the box office, it seems that Marvel’s interest has heated back up. Of course, it remains to be seen whether they’ll strike a deal.
Given the popularity of Marvel movies, directing Black Panther would be huge for any filmmaker, even one who has already attracted buzz, as Coogler has. Prior to Creed‘s big box office opening, the director helmed Fruitvale Station, which garnered awards at the 2013 Sundance Film Festival. He has also directed several shorts.
Marvel has been on the hunt for a director for Black Panther for several months at least. In early July, it was reported that Selma director Ava DuVernay turned down the job after meeting with the writers and studio execs, as well as with Chadwick Boseman, who is set to star. She explained at the time but they “just didn’t see eye-to-eye.”
If Coogler doesn’t have the same qualms and talks do pan out, he’ll have the chance to direct the story of Marvel’s first black superhero. The comic books follow a young man named T’Challa after his father is murdered and he goes from being prince of a fictional African nation to king. His ascension grants him special abilities, which he uses to fight bad guys. Frequently fighting alongside the Avengers, his character will make his MCU debut in Captain America: Civil War in May 2016.
Black Panther is scheduled to open on November 3, 2017.