After months of rumors and negotiations, Marvel has officially announced that Ryan Coogler will be directing Black Panther.
Coogler, who's best known for his work on Creed and Fruitvale Station, has been the leading name for the position for quite some time. However, Marvel never confirmed whether Coogler was the frontrunner, but acknowledged talks were occurring between their team and Coogler's.
In the press release, Marvel Studios boss Kevin Feige announced how excited he was to have such an "esteemed filmmaker" join the Marvel universe.
"Many fans have waited a long time to see Black Panther in his own film, and with Ryan we know we've found the perfect director to bring T'Challa's story to life," Feige said.
The journey to finding a director for the film has been contentious, with Selma director Ava DuVernay originally signing on to the project before withdrawing after complaints over lack of creative control from Marvel. The studio then pursued F. Gary Gray (Straight Outta Compton), but he turned the project down in order to direct the eighth Fast & Furious installment.
Still, there are no hard feelings from either director. DuVernay took a moment to tweet her congratulations to Coogler.
Typing this from the box office. Ready to buy my tix! Bravo, @Kevfeige + @Marvel team. Go, Ryan! #takemywholewallet https://t.co/C83BkMfo9Y— Ava DuVernay (@AVAETC) January 12, 2016
The project is still years away from release, but development on the film is expected to start relatively soon. Although he won't have his own film until 2018, fans can get their first glimpse of Black Panther — played by Chadwick Boseman — in Captain America: Civil War this May.
Black Panther will hit theaters on Feb. 16, 2018.