It used to be that indie filmmakers would make three, four, maybe five films before wading into the waters of blockbuster movies, but with the likes of “Jurassic World” (Colin Trevorrow), “Godzilla” (Gareth Edwards), and “Fantastic Four” (Josh Trank), indie directors are making that leap almost immediately. If that jump seems to have been solely the domain of white male directors thus far, maybe things are ever so slightly changing. Indie filmmaker Ryan Coogler also made the successful vault this year, going from the Sundance Film Festival hit “Fruitvale Station” to the widely-praised, mid-budget studio film, “Creed,” a successful and worthy spin-off of Sylvester Stallone’s “Rocky” series.
And it sounds like Coogler will be advancing his career with an even bigger bound. According to Birth.Death.Movies and The Wrap, Coogler is in talks with Marvel to direct their “Black Panther,” due February 2018. Coogler was already on the lips of fans and pundits earlier this year after Ava DuVernay passed on the movie, and given the success of “Creed” — the highest opening “Rocky” film to date, which, yes, accounts for inflation— it does not seem dubious that Coogler and Marvel are discussing the job.
Both sites cautions that a deal needs to be struck and finalized, but the talks sound legit, and if it pans out it’s exciting news. Coogler is a big talent and “Creed” brought big heart and crowd-pleasing entertainment to the big screen with filmmaking intelligence and smarts. Put this one into the, “Yes, Please” column. Chadwick Boseman was cast as Black Panther and he’ll make his first Marvel appearance in “Captain America: Civil War,” due out May 6, 2016. The character made his first appearance in the recently released debut trailer.
Update 1/11/16: Ryan Coogler has been confirmed for the gig.
— Marvel Entertainment (@Marvel) January 12, 2016