“Black Panther has been in the news a lot this past week for its excellent casting decisions, but it’s director Ryan Coogler who has us the most excited to see this upcoming Marvel Cinematic Universe standalone film.
After launching onto the Hollywood scene with indie drama Fruitvale Station, Coogler went on to successfully relaunch the Rocky franchise with last year’s Creed. Now, he is poised to solidify the place of one of the MCU’s new, Phase Three generation of superheros.
Fast Company caught up with the 29-year-old American director to chat Black Panther, the importance of collaborating with women, and whether or not he would want to direct a Hamilton musical. Here’s what he had to say…
The challenges of directing in the MCU.
In a month that also brought us Thor: Ragnarok director Taika Waititi making jokes on Twitter with his fellow MCU directors about the difficulty of the job, Coogler more seriously chatted with Fast Company about the challenges of keeping films personal within the larger shared cinematic universe, saying:
It’s a specific challenge. What Marvel’s doing, and what you see a lot of studios doing now that Marvel has done it so successfully, is making content that exists in a particular universe, where the characters tie in and crossover, and I think that’s a great creative challenge to me—to make this movie as personal as possible. It’s going to be my most personal movie to date, which is crazy to say, but it’s completely the case.
I’m obsessed with this character and this story right now, and I think it’s going to be very unique and still fit into the overall narrative that they’re establishing. I grew up as a comic book fan, and the same things used to happen in the comic books. You’d have Wolverine’s books, and they’d be so much darker and more brutal than the X-Men books, but they’d still fit in when you open the pages of the X-Men book. It’s new to movies, but it’s not new to storytelling…