Disney has signed “Black Panther” director Ryan Coogler to a five-year overall TV deal. Among the projects in the works is a spinoff of his Marvel Studios film for Disney+ that will center on the Kingdom of Wakanda.
The exclusive agreement with Disney and Coogler’s Proximity Media expands upon the filmmaker’s relationship with Disney. Proximity will also develop TV projects for other parts of Disney, which include ABC, Freeform and Hulu.
The Wakanda TV series would be the 12th Marvel Studios series for Disney+. The first one, “WandaVision” debuted last month and “The Falcon and The Winter Soldier” and “Loki” are set to premiere in March and May, respectively.
“It’s an honor to be partnering with The Walt Disney Company. 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,” Coogler said.
Coogler is also rewriting the script for “Black Panther II,” which is due out in 2022, following the death of star Chadwick Boseman last year. Marvel Studios’ chief Kevin Feige has previously said they will not recast Boseman’s role as T’Challa/Black Panther and will instead shift the focus of the sequel to other characters.
The first “Black Panther” was a smash hit and cultural phenomenon, grossing more than $1 billion globally at the box office. Aside from “Black Panther,” Coogler is known for directing “Creed,” “Fruitvale Station” and more recently produced the “Space Jam” sequel with LeBron James and “Judas and the Black Messiah,” which is due out on HBO Max (and theaters where they’re open) this month.
“Ryan Coogler is a singular storyteller whose vision and range have made him one of the standout filmmakers of his generation,” Disney executive chairman Bob Iger said. “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.”