Ryan Coogler Explains How Black Panther Fights Superhero Movie Fatigue


“There’s something very special about him.”

That’s Stan Lee there talking about Black Panther, a hero he helped create alongside the illustrious Jack Kirby more than 50 years ago. In the time since, T’Challa has grown to be a staple of Marvel Comics, and after years of anticipation and pent-up excitement, next month will finally herald the release of Ryan Coogler’s spinoff, which hopes to introduce a new breed of superhero.

Not only that, but the film looks like a truly gripping and original slice of superhero fare, with the Afrofuturist stylings of Wakanda a much-needed bit of new territory for the Marvel Cinematic Universe (which, like the comics, often behaves as if New York is the centre of the universe). That’s something which isn’t lost on Coogler, either, who’s confident that his new effort will help fight superhero movie fatigue

Speaking to Fandango earlier tonight after the debut of that dazzling final trailer, the director touched on the genre and how it’s getting a bit crowded and all starting to feel the same – which is something Black Panther hopes to change.

“There have been a lot of superhero movies made,” Coogler said. “As a comic book and superhero film fan myself, I feel like we’ve seen a lot at this point. I think that the cultural element of [Black Panther] — and how cultural specificity takes such a big role in the film — that’s what makes it quite unique. I’m excited to see more [superhero movies], but there hasn’t really been a film about a character like T’Challa before.”

Continuing on, he said that he feels his pic has the potential to be something truly unique:

“Hopefully we can pull it off, but it has the potential to be something that’s really unique in a lot of different ways,” Coogler said. “I think that you can’t ignore the idea of representation and also the excitement around Marvel Studios and the work that they’ve been able to pull off when telling original and unique stories. I think that folks are excited to see what the studio is able to cook up.”

Dubbed the big, operatic family drama of the Marvel Cinematic Universe, Black Panther will make a beeline for US theaters on February 16th – exactly one week after its initial debut in the United Kingdom. And when it does, it’ll seemingly weigh in at 135 minutes in length.

Buckle up, dear readers, for a trip to Wakanda is finally on the cards, and as the final standalone Marvel movie before Avengers: Infinity War, there’s a certain set of expectations resting on Chadwick Boseman’s burly shoulders. With a kick-ass cast in tow though, not to mention all of the Black Panther staples – Wakanda, vibranium and a certain Heart-Shaped Herb – all signs point to another sure-fire hit for the folks at Marvel Studios.