Getting a director gig at Marvel Studios is a massive pedestal to be placed on. For Ryan Coogler, the job of directing Black Panther wasn't something he had to pitch and pursue as much as it was a role he was approached for by the powers that be within the studio.
"It's weird because it wasn't a pitch as much as I got a call from Nate Moore, who produced on [Captain America: The Winter Soldier] and [Captain America: Civil War]. He was kind of [Marvel Studios president Kevin Feige]'s right hand on all he projects and I got a call from him. He had been shepherding the film along at the studio for a number of years now. So I got a call from him, talked to to him about what they were trying to do, trying to figure out how the studio worked because I didn't really know how they worked intimately. I was curious."
From there, Coogler became integrated with the Marvel Studios executives and how their teams operated and wished to see the Black Panther character brought to life. "Met Kevin, met [Louis D'Esposito], met [Victoria Alonso] eventually," Coogler recalls. "I heard what they were thinking. They had been thinking about the project on their own and saying, 'We've been thinking this and thinking that. We thought this was interesting and that was interesting.'"
Then comes Coogler sealing the deal for the gig. "I sat with that, and I had to process," Coogler says. "I watched Civil War which hadn't been out yet. I had to process what I would do and I came back to them and I talked to them. I thought that I wanted to make it but only if I got to explore this certain things."
Despite outstanding reviews and a massive box office being promised for Black Panther, a sequel has not yet been announced. While it seems inevitable, Coogler promises his initial work on Black Panther's development "was a one movie focus."
Whether or not he returns, the director believes he accomplished everything he set out to, though he wouldn't be mad about developing some characters and their narratives a bit more in the future. "Like any film, you get scenes that you might love but they don't work in the scope of the film that you have to pull out and you look forward to deleted scenes and you get to show people the work in those," Coogler said. "Wakanda is amazing, man, so there's characters you wish you could... I would watch the movie of Danai Gurira and Lupita [Nyong'o]'s characters."
Black Panther hits theaters on February 16, 2018. Advanced tickets are on sale now wherever tickets are sold. Other upcoming Marvel Cinematic Universe movies include; Avengers: Infinity War on May 4th, Ant-Man and the Wasp on July 6th, Captain Marvel on March 8, 2019, the fourth Avengers movie on May 3, 2019, the sequel to Spider-Man: Homecoming on July 5, 2019, and Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 in 2020.