Ratifying Marvel fans’ hopes for more of the Wakandan setting and storyline that director Ryan Coogler broke open with this year's Black Panther, Coogler reportedly has now agreed to write and direct a sequel to the box office-smashing film.
According to The Hollywood Reporter, unnamed sources revealed that Coogler had “quietly closed a deal” to be the creative force for King T'Challa’s second featured outing for Disney and the MCU, though additional details are still light.
THR reports that Coogler is expected write the script in 2019, with production on the sequel starting late next year or in early 2020.
Coogler’s continued involvement in the franchise, which has become one of Marvel’s tentpole newcomers as the studio charts a course for the MCU’s next phase, has seemed all but inevitable following the critical and commercial success of the first film.
Back in April, Marvel Studios president Kevin Feige said Coogler was the single most important factor in determining when work on a sequel would begin, and that the early development timeline would depend on his involvement in the project.
“We definitely want Ryan to come back and that’s actively being worked out right now,” Feige told Collider. “When will it be? A lot of it will be when Ryan wants to and not rushing anything, but I think we have an idea of when it will be.”
From the moment it released in February, Black Panther absolutely crushed the box office for Marvel, breaking all kinds of records and dominating theaters almost through April. Disney and Marvel have since indicated they’ll be campaigning for the movie to get a Best Picture nod when Oscars season heats up later this year.
Disney’s next major MCU release will be Brie Larson’s Captain Marvel, which arrives in March of 2019.