“Black Panther,” a film that was part of the epically-long “Phase 3” period of Marvel Studios’ MCU franchise, premiered in 2018 to a resounding reception. A lot has already been said about its predominantly African-American casting and director, plus its adaptation of an African Marvel superhero from a highly-advanced Afro-futurist nation in that continent. Reprisals of the character in subsequent MCU movies got audiences excited for the sequel, only to be quashed last year by the passing of actor Chadwick Boseman who portrayed Black Panther/King T’Challa of Wakanda. But not only is the sequel still on even without the star, a series is being planned with the original director too.
CNBC reports that “Black Panther” director Ryan Coogler has entered a five-year deal with Disney to develop several exclusive programming across the media giant’s various platforms. One of the possible projects is a streaming series set in the MCU that will be part of that franchise’s exclusive content on Disney+. Said series will be set in Wakanda, the Vibranium-using country that is home to the Black Panther. It will join the slate of other MCU shows on that platform that will organically connect with the MCU films premiering in cinemas.
Disney executive chairman Bob Iger described Coogler as a standout director for this generation of filmmakers in the movie industry, with a vision and range that had him realize such blockbusters as “Rocky” sequel “Creed” in 2015, pairing Sylvester “Rocky” Stallone as the aged boxing legend and mentor to Michael B. Jordan’s Donny Creed. Jordan also portrayed the antagonist Killmonger in Coogler’s other signature film, “Black Panther” from Marvel Studios, part of MCU Phase 3. The director is also bringing his production label Proximity Media into the Disney partnership deal, which he calls an honor adding, “We’re already in the mix on some projects that we can’t wait to share.”
Meanwhile, development work on “Black Panther II” continues even without its late lead star Chadwick Boseman. His costars Letitia Wright, Lupita Nyong’o Winston Duke and Angela Bassett are all reprising, but T’Challa will not be recast nor be replaced with a CGI double, according to Marvel Studios head Kevin Feige.
Boseman died in August last year of colon cancer, a disease he had actually been diagnosed with since 2016 (circa first appearance in “Captain America: Civil War”), but kept secret from cast-mates and the studio while filming “Black Panther,” “Avengers: Infinity War” and “Avengers: Endgame.”
Image courtesy of ComicBook.com