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The acclaimed filmmaker has inked a multi-year deal with Disney Television and his first order of business is to develop a series about Wakanda (among several other TV efforts). He'll almost certainly serve as an executive producer, but it's unclear if he'll do any of the writing or directing. Hidden away from the rest of the world deep within the African continent, Wakanda is the most technically-advanced nation on the planet. The first Black Panther ended with King T'Challa (the late Chadwick Boseman) ending his homeland's centuries-long policy of isolation by opening it up to relations with other countries.
“It’s an honor to be partnering with The Walt Disney Company,” Coogler said in a statement run by Variety. “Working with them on Black Panther was a dream come true. As avid consumers of television, we couldn’t be happier to be launching our television business with Bob Iger, Dana Walden and all the amazing studios under the Disney umbrella. We look forward to learning, growing, and building a relationship with audiences all over the world through the Disney platforms. We are especially excited that we will be taking our first leap with Kevin Feige, Louis D’Esposito, Victoria Alonso and their partners at Marvel Studios where we will be working closely with them on select MCU shows for Disney+. We’re already in the mix on some projects that we can’t wait to share."
The writer-director will oversee the Wakanda project via his Proximity Media banner, which he co-founded with Zinzi Coogler, Sev Ohanian, Archie Davis, Peter Nicks, and Academy Award-winning Panther composer, Ludwig Göransson. While there's only one confirmed show at this time, the press release makes it clear that Proximity is free to develop other series outside the Marvel Studios sphere for other divisions of Disney. The overall deal covers a period of five years, but that could change if Disney and Coogler decide to renew the agreement before it expires.
“Ryan Coogler is a singular storyteller whose vision and range have made him one of the standout filmmakers of his generation,” added Bob Iger, executive chairman of The Walt Disney Company and the company's former CEO. “With Black Panther, Ryan brought a groundbreaking story and iconic characters to life in a real, meaningful and memorable way, creating a watershed cultural moment. We’re thrilled to strengthen our relationship and look forward to telling more great stories with Ryan and his team.”
Coogler is currently writing the script for Black Panther II, which hopes to begin production this July. The sequel, which will not replace Boseman in any way, is scheduled for a theatrical release on July 8, 2022. Most of the original cast members are expected to return for the next installment.
Upon its release in 2018, the first film became a global phenomenon. Hailed by critics and audiences as a wonderful step forward for diversity on the big screen, it made over $1 billion at the worldwide box office. Black Panther also made history with three Oscar wins for costumes, production design, and music.
The MCU's presence in the world of television is well underway thanks to WandaVision. Episode 5 premieres on Disney+ this Friday (Feb. 5). Beyond that, Marvel Studios has a robust slate of upcoming small screen projects centered around characters like Moon Knight, She-Hulk, Ms. Marvel, Bucky Barnes and Sam Wilson, Loki, and many more.