Ryan Coogler Shares Story Of Day He Was Hired To Helm ‘Black Panther’

'Black Panther' director Ryan Coogler shares the story of how became a fan of the character & what he did the day he was hired to direct the film.


Marvel’s Black Panther will finally bring the first black superhero to the big screen and with a predominantly black creative team both in front of and behind the camera, the film will undoubtedly have an important place in both history and the hearts of fans who long to see themselves represented on screen. In an interview with Entertainment Weekly, director Ryan Coogler shared the story of how he first became a fan of the titular hero and the touching moment he experienced on the day Marvel hired him to direct the film.

Recalling how he became a fan of the X-Men character named Bishop and how Malcolm X and Martin Luther King were some of Stan Lee’s inspirations for Professor X and Magento, Coogler recounted the day he visited the Dr. Comics & Mr. Games store in search of a comic book where a black superhero was the lead character:

“I remember going in there saying ‘You got any black superheroes? Got anybody who looks like me?’ The first thing they did was walk me over to Black Panther.”

Marvel Studios president Kevin Feige discussed the importance of introducing Black Panther to a new generation of fans:

“He’s making this movie for his 8-year-old self. That’s why you do it. Most importantly, you do it for other 8-year-olds, to inspire the next generation the way we were inspired. And in this case, when Ryan was growing up, perhaps there weren’t that many of these heroes to be inspired by that looked like him.”

Upon being urged by Feige, Coogler shared the story of what he did the day he landed the directing job on the film:

“Yeah, it was really my wife. The day I took the job was an out-of-body experience. She was like, let’s go to that same shop that you told me about. It’s on Piedmont Avenue. We went in and I bought the two Black Panther comic books I could find. I was like, you got to take a picture of me. And I sent it to Kevin.”

Speaking as a comic book fan, one can only imagine the feeling Coogler must have had that day. The passion Coogler has for the character certainly indicates that the film is in more than capable hands with the filmmaker at the helm. Are you excited to see Coogler bring Black Panther to the big screen? Share your thoughts below!

“Black Panther” follows T’Challa who, after the events of “Captain America: Civil War,” returns home to the isolated, technologically advanced African nation of Wakanda to take his place as King. However, when an old enemy reappears on the radar, T’Challa’s mettle as King and Black Panther is tested when he is drawn into a conflict that puts the entire fate of Wakanda and the world at risk.

Directed by Ryan Coogler, the film stars Chadwick Boseman, Michael B. Jordan, Lupita Nyong’o, Danai Gurira, Martin Freeman, Daniel Kaluuya, Angela Bassett, Letitia Wright, Winston Duke,  Florence Kasumba, Sterling K. Brown, Andy Serkis and John Kan.

Black Panther will be released in theaters on February 16, 2018.

Source: Entertainment Weekly

Sebastian Peris

Sebastian Peris

Canadian film buff, political junkie, comic book geek, and board game enthusiast.