Early last month, we reported that Creed and Fruitvale Station director Ryan Coogler was in talks to direct Marvel’s Black Panther movie, and now a post on the Marvel website has confirmed that Coogler has officially signed on to direct the film. This will only be Coogler’s third full-length feature, but going from a critically acclaimed indie to a high-profile superhero movie in only a few years is basically to be expected now from Coogler’s meteoric rise. Maybe next he’ll direct a Star Wars movie or run for president. Anyway, Black Panther will star Chadwick Boseman as the eponymous hero, and though the character will make his first Marvel Cinematic Universe appearance in Captain America: Civil War, he’ll get the spotlight all to himself when Coogler’s solo Black Panther movie comes out on February 16, 2018.
There’s a slight wrinkle to all of this, though, especially for those who were looking forward to Coogler directing a sequel to Creed. Star Michael B. Jordan has said he’d be up for another one (especially since he won’t be making more Fantastic Four movies any time soon), and Golden Globe-winning actor Sylvester Stallone even has some ideas for a sequel, but now it looks like Coogler might be too busy for it now that he’s doing Black Panther. MGM has already penciled Creed 2 in for a November 2017 release date, and Variety suspects that the release dates might not leave Coogler with enough time to make both movies. Of course, all of this is pretty far off, so maybe by 2017 the movie studios will have perfected cloning technology and this won’t be an issue.