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Ryan Coogler developing Black Panther spinoff series for Disney Plus

Wakanda forever, indeed

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ryan coogler black panther Marvel Studios
Susana Polo is an entertainment editor at Polygon, specializing in pop culture and genre fare, with a primary expertise in comic books. Previously, she founded The Mary Sue.

The Walt Disney Company and director Ryan Coogler’s Proximity Media have signed a five year deal, according to Disney. As part of that deal, Coogler, who directed the studio’s Oscar-winning 2018 smash hit Black Panther, will develop a Disney Plus television series set in the afrofuturist nation of Wakanda.

Originally created by Stan Lee and Jack Kirby, Wakanda has a long history in Marvel Comics. Captain America received his first vibranium shield after befriending the Black Panther during World War II, for example. But most recently, under writer Ta-Nehisi Coates and several artists, the nation rewrote its constitution to become a democratic constitutional monarchy, relaunched its space program, and — due to some space time travel shenanigans — discovered a thousand year-old Wakandan space empire ruled by an Eric Killmonger-worshipping despot. Basically, anything is possible in this universe.

“Ryan Coogler is a singular storyteller whose vision and range have made him one of the standout filmmakers of his generation,” said Disney executive chairman Bob Iger. “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.”

As for Black Panther 2, Feige announced during the December Disney Investor’s call that the sequel would move forward despite the death of actor Chadwick Boseman, but that Coogler would not recast the part of T’Challa. The movie is currently slated to hit theaters on July 8, 2022.

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