Kevin Feige Discusses Bringing BLACK PANTHER To The Big Screen and Hopes Ryan Coogler Comes Back For the Sequel
Black Panther has officially been released in theaters and if you haven't seen it yet, make sure to check it out sometime this weekend. In a recent interview with Variety, Marvel Studios president Kevin Feige talks about bringing Black Panther to the big screen.
One of the first questions that Feige was asked in the interview is why it took so long to get Black Panther made and he says:
"I don’t know. This is the 10-year anniversary of Marvel Studios, starting with “Iron Man.” I’ll speak starting in 2008. For us, we were building the Avengers. That took up the first five years. And as audiences continued to come, we got to tell more of these stories and we got to a point where we were developing 'Captain America: Civil War.' We had an opportunity to introduce a character that had no allegiance to either Iron Man or Captain America and that clearly was Black Panther, who has his own agenda, agency, country, and culture. And he found himself thrust into the world of the Avengers. That became, for us, lighting the wick on the beginning of bringing Panther to the world and casting Chadwick and soon after that, hiring Ryan Coogler. I’m very glad this movie wasn’t made in 1992 because Ryan Coogler might not have been born."
I think Black Panther was made at the right time. Everything seemed to align perfectly, especially with the talent that came on board to make the film. Had the movie been made any earlier, we probably would have gotten a completely different film, and I loved the film that was made. Of course, they always knew they would get around to making the film:
"We always knew we wanted to do it someday. We always knew it was the manifest destiny of Marvel Studios to bring to life all facets of the Marvel universe. At the end of 'Iron Man 2,' when Nick Fury is discussing for the first time the Avengers initiative with Tony Stark, he’s brought him to this secret shield warehouse. One of the maps prominently displayed is a map of Africa with a little pinpoint to where Wakanda is. In 'Avengers: Age of Ultron,' we talked about Vibranium for the first time and Bruce Banner mispronounces Wakanda. We’ve been feeding it through the films, knowing if we had the opportunity to keep making films, Panther was high on the list. It was his inclusion in 'Civil War' that sped it up."
When asked about how everything started to come together for Black Panther and the casting Chadwick Bousman in the role, Feige recalled:
"We were working on the story [for Civil War] and we needed another character. Our executive producer suggested T’Challa. The minute we started talking about Black Panther, we brought up Chadwick. He really was the only actor we discussed. We had seen the Jackie Robinson role [in '42'] and 'Get On Up' was coming up. We were very impressed by how different James Brown and Jackie Robinson are, and how he could sort of do anything. I think it was 24 hours between saying his name in a creative story meeting and talking to his agent and getting on a phone with him and offering him the role of Black Panther, which he accepted. He was in Zurich on a press tour for 'Get On Up,' which makes the story even more far-flung and global and James Bond-like.
There's no word on how many Black Panther movies that we'll see, but it's safe to say that we are going to get a sequel. There are no details yet on what that sequel might entail, but one thing that Kevin Feige is hoping to bring back is director Ryan Coogler. He says that they "absolutely" want him to come back. I'm sure everything will work out with that.
If you've already seen Black Panther, what did you think!?