Ryan Coogler May Direct Smaller Film Before 'Black Panther 2'

Director Ryan Coogler shocked absolutely no one when it was revealed he was returning to Marvel Studios to direct Black Panther 2. And though that project will take up a lot of his time, it might not be the immediate film on his docket.

After the initial report indicated Coogler will direct the Black Panther sequel, a report from Variety indicated the film will not go into production until late 2019 or early 2020, leaving him enough time to take on a smaller project.

The report states that Coogler could tackle a version of the classic 12 Angry Men, which has been a theatrical staple and adapted for screen multiple times. Sources close to Variety indicate that Coogler was trying to make that smaller film before jumping back into Marvel's waters, but with this new deal announced it's unclear if he will shift his plans and focus entirely on Black Panther 2.

Of course, Marvel making a sequel to Black Panther shouldn't surprise anyone as it was one of the most successful films of the year, second only to Avengers: Infinity War. The movie made over $1 billion at the box office and is already one of the top selling Blu-ray movies of 2018.

“The experience of making Black Panther, even before it came out, was a transformative one,” Marvel Studios president Kevin Feige said at the Produced By conference earlier this summer. “We’re watching the final playback, where you see the final film and check for any last-minute changes, and when it ended I just instinctually leaned over to Ryan and said, ‘I think this is the best movie we’ve ever made.'”

Feige has touted the success of Black Panther since before the film hit theaters, and now that it's become a cultural phenomenon and a box office blockbuster, there was little doubt that he'd want to make a sequel.

“We had to make that movie to destroy a myth that Black movies don’t succeed around the world,” Feige said, “Unconscious bias is a real thing.”

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There's no release date for Black Panther 2 yet, but it's likely the film will release sometime in 2021 given the filming schedule. If that's the case, don't be surprised if Coogler takes on another smaller film — so long as he gets that script done in time.

The character Black Panther will next appear in Avengers 4, premiering in theaters on May 3, 2019.