Earlier this month, Marvel issued new release dates for three mystery movies, while pushing their highly-anticipated Black Panther up five months, from July 6, 2018 to February 16, 2018. Despite a recent report that the studio won't seek out a director until the script is finished, Heroic Hollywood reports that Creed and Fruitvale Station director Ryan Coogler is the studio's top choice. Marvel hasn't confirmed or denied this report as of yet, but it makes sense that they would try to find a director soon, since their release date was pushed up.

Last week, we reported that Joe Robert Cole (American Crime Story) is nearing a deal to write the screenplay, so it may be quite some time before a script is turned in, especially since it isn't known if his deal has been finalized yet. Marvel had previously sought out Selma filmmaker Ava DuVernay, but she backed away from the project after creative differences arose. Another report from August revealed that Straight Outta Compton filmmaker F. Gary Gray was a directorial candidate, but he ended up taking the reins on Universal's Fast & Furious 8.

Chadwick Boseman is set to star as T'challa, who will first make his debut in next year's Captain America: Civil War. No other characters have been cast yet, but it seems likely that Andy Serkis may reprise his role as Ulysses Klaue from this summer's Avengers: Age of Ultron. In the Marvel Comics, Klaue is a longtime nemesis of T'challa and his father, T'chaka. There have been rumors that T'chaka either dies, or passes on the Wakandan throne to T'challa in Captain America: Civil War, setting the stage for Black Panther.

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It isn't known if Ryan Coogler has even been offered the Black Panther directing gig yet, but the filmmaker has certainly been on the rise after just two feature films. The director made his debut with the critically-acclaimed 2013 drama Fruitvale Station, starring Michael B. Jordan, who he reunits with on his sophomore effort, Creed, which hits theaters on November 25. Creed is a Rocky spinoff that features Sylvester Stallone reprising his iconic role as boxer Rocky Balboa, who trains Apollo Creed's son how to fight. The filmmaker is currently putting the finishing touches on Creed in post-production, but he doesn't have any other projects in development.

Marvel hasn't announced when they may start production on Black Panther, but the studio just recently wrapped on Captain America: Civil War. Doctor Strange is expected to start filming very soon, with Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 commencing principal photography in early 2016 and Thor: Ragnarok likely set to follow later on in that year. Avengers: Infinity War Part I and Avengers: Infinity War - Part II are expected to start filming in late 2016, so it seems likely that Black Panther may either start around the same time, or in early 2017. Would you like to see Ryan Coogler take the helm on Black Panther?