As you may have heard by now, Marvel has confirmed that Ryan Coogler will direct Black Panther. This move was a no-brainer for the comic book studio. Coogler is one of the hottest young directors in Hollywood, who’s coming off two critically acclaim films. As great as this news is for Marvel, it presents sort of a problem for another studio.
Warner Bros & MGM are very happy with the results from Creed. The film has grossed $120 million at the box office on a $35 million budget, and has also won over a high majority of the critics and audiences. The studios obviously have a sequel in mind, with a reported November 2017 release (Variety). Their hopes in fast tracking the sequel would be to maximize on the hype of the first film. Its a smart move financially, however, it will likely cost them creatively.
Black Panther has a February 18, 2018 release date, which means for the next 18 months Coogler will have his hands full. Its no secret that Kevin Feige and the folks at Marvel run a tight ship. Their success is the result of a collaborative effort on everything they do. Black Panther will be a landmark film for the M.C.U., because its their first superhero film led by a black superhero. The film will also lead into the massive Avengers: Infinity War. This rules out the possibility of Coogler working on both projects at the same time.
If Warner Bros/MGM are more concerned about delivering a sequel to Creed that’s on the same level as the first film, they would back off the 2017 release date. Ryan Coogler and Michael B. Jordan created something special that allowed the continuation of Rocky franchise. As a huge fan of Creed, I hope to see them both return. However, its likely the studios will move on because they’re in the business of making money. The question then would be who should they get to direct the sequel? There are plenty of capable directors out there, but the trick is finding someone with a vision for moving the franchise forward.