How Ryan Coogler Plans to Make Black Panther 'My Most Personal Movie'

2016 Film Society Of Lincoln Center Luncheon

Ryan Coogler Opens Up about Directing Big-Budget Black Panther

Ryan Coogler made his mark in Hollywood by directing the deep — and deeply personal — indie “Fruitvale Station.” After stepping into the ring for the Rocky franchise with the critically acclaimed “Creed,” he’s making the monster leap to blockbuster tent-pole CGI territory with “Black Panther.”

“It’s a specific challenge,” Coogler tells Fast Company. “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.”

Ryan Coogler-Directed Black Panther Based on First Black Superhero in Mainstream Comic

Based on the first black superhero in a mainstream comic, “Black Panther” stars Chadwick Boseman in the titular role, with costar Michael B. Jordan reuniting with his “Fruitvale” and “Creed” director. Lupita Nyong’o also is in negotiations to appear in the film.

“I’m obsessed with this character and this story right now,” adds Coogler, “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.”

Coogler got the “Black Panther” job after “Selma” director Ava DuVernay walked away during negotiations due to creative differences. “Black Panther” tells the story of an African warrior-prince who fights evil using his martial arts skills, indestructible claws and energy-absorbing body armor. The movie is expected to debut in 2018.

Watch Made in Hollywood’s interview with Chadwick Boseman for Captain America: Civil War (below):