As exciting as Marvel’s Phase Three line-up is, there are two movies on the schedule that stand out the most: Black Panther and Captain Marvel. Both films are an important step for the MCU for various reasons, but with Black Panther set to come first, there’s no denying just how important of a film it’ll be – for both fans and those involved. Ever since he was officially confirmed to direct the upcoming feature, Ryan Coogler has made it a point to explain why the project is so important to him. He has also previously gone on record citing the film as his most “personal” film to date. Which is why it isn’t entirely surprising that during an interview with the folks at Entertainment Weekly, Coogler spoke so passionately about the project and how excited he is to tackle such an amazing opportunity with Black Panther.

“The superhero field is a field where there’s not a lot of representation,” the filmmaker told EW. “It’s traditionally white male, but the fans look like the world. So, naturally, people are going to yearn to see someone flying around doing these incredible things that looks like them. It’s an incredible opportunity, but that’s what keeps me up at night – for better and for worse.”

What makes Black Panther such a unique opportunity and important film for Marvel is just how different it is from everything else the studio has produced thus far. Not only is it our first film being headlined by a person of color, but it also includes a large supporting cast of female roles with the Dora Milaje. As we know thanks to yesterday’s panel, Danai Gurira and Lupita Nyong’o were announced to be playing members of the Dora Milaje in the upcoming film, with more actresses sure to join the project in due time.

“The thing that’s really cool about Wakanda that we know from the books, that’s consistent with all the different stories, is that they worship the panther goddess,” Coogler explains. “It’s a place where gender roles are very different than how we see them in today’s age. The Dora Milaje are the most elite fighters in the country, and you can only be a woman in the Dora Milaje.”

Black Panther is scheduled to hit theaters February 16, 2018.

Source: Entertainment Weekly.