Last month, a rumor surfaced that Marvel wants Creed director Ryan Coogler to take the helm on Black Panther, which has Chadwick Boseman set to star as T'challa. The filmmaker's involvement has not been confirmed at this time. The studio was previously considering director Ava DuVernay, with it widely believed that the studio wants an African-American filmmaker directing. While Ryan Coogler wouldn't comment specifically about his involvement, he did tell Screen Rant that he believes it's important for Black Panther to have a black director.
"Yeah, I think it's important. Perspective is so important in art. It's an important thing. That's not to say that you can't work outside yourself. When I was coming up, I made movies about things that were close to me; I made movies about things that weren't close to me. But I definitely think that it helps when you are close to a subject. Like, I was an athlete for most of my life before I was a filmmaker. And that helped to inform me when writing this script, when directing. Having had those types of experiences helped me inform this process."
Ryan Coogler's statement comes just a month after Anthony Mackie, who plays one of the few African-American characters in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, The Falcon, stated that he doesn't think Black Panther needs a black director. Ryan Coogler went on to add that a black filmmaker will help give Black Panther "a greater truth" in telling the story from an African-American perspective. Here's what Ryan Coogler had to say about how a filmmaker's personal experience can enhance the story.
"I think that there is a potential for a greater truth when a filmmaker comes from a particular culture that they're dealing with. That's not to say that a filmmaker can't work outside his or her cultural space. But I do believe that the opportunity for the film to have more nuance will come when you looking at filmmakers that bring a little bit of that from their personal experience. That's why I think folks are opinionated about it. But if I was in a position where I'm making a movie about the first woman superhero that's every going to get released all over the world, I would do everything in my power to find a woman to direct that movie out of the simple fact that I think it will give you a cultural perspective. I don't think that's wrong of a studio to do. I think it's actually responsible. It's responsible because it's their job to make the truest, best film."
Joe Robert Cole (Amber Lake) recently signed on to write the script for Black Panther, and Marvel also said that they wouldn't be looking for a director until the script is complete. Marvel's Black Panther will hit theaters on February 16, 2018, although it isn't known exactly when production will begin. What do you think about Ryan Coogler's comments regarding Black Panther needing an African-American director? Stay tuned for more on Black Panther as soon as more details are released.