Having grossed $1.3 billion earlier this year—the 9th highest grossing film of all time, the highest grossing Marvel movie of all time domestically—director Ryan Coogler cemented his career with “Black Panther.” Now the question was the sequel. Would he return or hand off the reigns to another filmmaker like he did with “Creed 2,” after all, Coogler can now pick and choose whatever he likes. But it appears like the “Fruitvale Station” filmmaker is going to remain loyal: today it was announced Coogler has signed on to write and direct the “Black Panther” sequel.
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Perhaps it was never in doubt, but the timing was always an issue. Coogler has the drama “Wrong Answer” in the works with Michael B. Jordan as the lead (his “Black Panther” antagonist), and that’s expected to come next, therefore possibly pushing “Black Panther 2” far, far into the future.
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Sources tell THR the plan at this stage is for Coogler to write next year with an eye to start production in either late 2019 or early 2020 which would mean no “Black Panther” sequel until 2020 or 2021. It’s unclear if he could direct and put out “Wrong Answer” in between, but it sounds doubtful, and that drama may just have to wait.
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At the same time, Marvel has not made official plans beyond their next “Avengers 4” movie in May 2019 and the “Spider-Man: Homecoming” sequel in July (the “Black Widow” movie is coming, but there’s no release date or timeframe for it yet; “Guardians of The Galaxy 3” looks to be way up in the air for now).
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“Black Panther” was a huge cultural touchstone this year and it’s expected to still vie for the Oscars later this year if it can squeeze in amongst the pack surely to be led by “A Star Is Born,” “Roma,” “First Man” and more. Does the superhero movie have the muscle to squeeze into the Best Picture race? It’s hard to say, but with the Academy demographics changing, widening and diversifying, if ever a comic book movie could break out of the superhero ghetto they’ve been normally placed into, “Black Panther” would be it.