Ryan Coogler, Black Panther: Wakanda Forever director talks about sequel pressures and the possibility of a third movie
Ryan Coogler, who helped write and direct Black Panther, and a cosplayer dressed as Namor. You can’t say enough about how big the first Black Panther was.
More than $1 billion at the box office. The first time Marvel Studios was nominated for Best Picture. A milestone in popular culture.
And now, co-writer and director Ryan Coogler has to do it all over again with Black Panther: Wakanda Forever. Coogler told io9, “When we were making the first one in Atlanta in 2017, we were in our own little bubble.”
“So it felt like all of the pressure was on us. And as the release date got closer, people’s excitement and expectations grew to the point where we could feel them.
But for a long time, we kept it to ourselves. The parts, the tribes, what was going to happen, what the characters looked like, and what they were going to do. We did nothing else.”
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When the movie came out, that pressure inside changed. People wanted to see more of these characters and this world, and Coogler could tell right away that something had changed.
“There was a lot of pressure, but it wasn’t like when you put out a movie, and people expect you to make more,” he said. “What my co-writer Joe Robert Cole, producer Nate Moore, and I wanted to do, and we talked with Chadwick [Boseman] about this as we got ready to make a second one, was to make sure that we kept the things that made the first movie special, but also grew the world and made it more interesting so that we could give the audience something beautiful.
So that’s what we planned to do.” Moore, who is coming back to make the second movie, agrees that there was a lot of pressure. “The crowd’s response was so strong that you can’t help but feel the pressure.
“I wanted to make sure going back to Wakanda was just as interesting as the first time,” he told io9. “But to have a movie do that well surprised us and made us think, “Man, how do we top that?”
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Even though Wakanda Forever doesn’t come out for another week, Moore did say that he’d love for Coogler to come back for a third film and that the Marvel team has already started talking about it.
When asked what it would take to get Coogler back, Moore said, “That’s the million-dollar question.” “Look, you shouldn’t count your chickens before they hatch, and the movie isn’t even out yet.
Let’s see what people think about this movie right now. But we hope that people will want us to make another one, and there have been ideas for that. So we’ll see.”
Coogler isn’t so sure, though. Not yet, at least. When asked if he’d come back, he said, “To be honest, I haven’t thought about it.”
“I’m not the best person in the world at writing and directing at the same time. I’ve got to kind of do what’s in front of me and be myself. When it comes to making things, I’m better able to do more than one thing.
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And to help me plan things, I have a great production company and great people who can work with me to get things done. But when it comes to writing, and in this case, co-writing and directing, I have to finish what I’m working on and then think about what comes next.”
Maybe that’s Black Panther 3, or maybe it’s not, but after Wakanda Forever, Coogler and Moore are better able to handle the pressure. On November 11, Black Panther: Wakanda Forever comes out.
We’ll soon have a lot more.