Ryan Coogler explains his love for Black Panther and comic books


Ryan Coogler shed some light on why directing Black Panther is so personal for him.

Black Panther is shaping up to be one of the most unique films in the Marvel Cinematic Universe to-date. This is in great part due to director and co-writer Ryan Coogler’s clear and distinct vision. Coogler makes personal films and he even had personal reasons for making Creed (2015). Now, it seems this was also the case with Black Panther.

In an interview with EW, Coogler revealed he is a comic book fan and understands just how passionate the fans are about the character of Black Panther:

"“I’m a fan myself. And I find … I’m honored, man, to be on a project that people care about this much.”"

He then explained that he first became interested in comics when he was a kid and that his love for them began with the X-Men:

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"“When I first discovered comic books and superheroes, I remember falling in love with X-Men the first time I saw Bishop. I was like, ‘Holy smokes, there’s a black X-Man? Then I found out Stan Lee talked about how Malcolm X and Martin Luther King were some of his inspirations for Magneto and Professor X. So I was like, ‘Jeez, my culture is influencing this!’ And this is being referenced. But I always did long for that one [black] superhero who the whole book was around. The same way I could pick up a Captain America book or a Spider-Man book.”"

He also recalled his first comic book shop experience at Dr. Comics & Mr. Games, which is located in his hometown of Oakland, California:

"“I remember going in there saying ’You got any black superheroes? Got anybody who looks like me?’ The first thing they did was walk me over to Black Panther.”"

Finally, Coogler reflected on the day he was hired for the job, and fondly remembered how his wife convinced him to return to that very same comic book store:

"“Yeah, it was really my wife. The day I took the job was an out-of-body experience. She was like, let’s go to that same shop that you told me about. It’s on Piedmont Avenue. We went in and I bought the two Black Panther comic books I could find. I was like, you got to take a picture of me. And I sent it to Kevin.”"

Next: Black Panther: New character posters revealed

It’s definitely clear to see that Coogler is passionate about this character and his world, and if this passion and his track record are any indication, then this film could really be something special.

Black Panther arrives in theaters on February 16, 2018.