When Marvel Studios finally announced Black Panther during their Phase Three presentation last October, fans immediately began to speculate who would end up helming the project. One name that was constantly attached to the film was director Ava DuVernay, who was just coming off of the highly acclaimed film, Selma. While promoting that project, many asked her if she’d be interested in directing a Marvel film, and while she admitted to not really being a comic book fan, DuVernay went on to say “never say never”.

Fast forward a few months later to May of last year, when The Wrap reported that Marvel was courting DuVernay to direct one of their projects, stating that it would either be Captain Marvel or Black Panther, both important features for the Marvel Cinematic Universe. It was early on, and there wasn’t a deal in place, but there was interest from both parties – and for a while there, it seemed like it would happen. Heck, at one point, a source we’d been in contact with even seemed to believe it would happen. Of course, it didn’t. DuVernay ended up turning down the project, citing creative differences, forcing fans to wonder who would go on to take the reins of the project.

It wasn’t until after a writer was officially announced for the film that another name seem to be attached to the film. Just two days after The Wrap announced that Joe Robert Cole, who’d written the initial screenplay for The Inhumans, would write the screenplay for Black Panther, Heroic Hollywood hinted that Creed director Ryan Coogler was being eyed for the project. Of course, shortly after, they went on to state that Cooglar had passed on the project, seemingly leaving the project without a director still.

And then, in early December, Devin of Birth.Movies.Death. broke the news that Coogler was actually in talks with Marvel to direct the project, which was later verified by the trades. Since then, things have been rather quiet – leaving many to wonder if talks ended up stalling, or if Coogler decided to walk again once and for all. Well, now it looks as though we finally have a definite answer as Marvel has confirmed Coogler will direct the 2018 film.

Here is confirmation from Marvel:

It’s official, Marvelites: Ryan Coogler will step up to direct Marvel’s “Black Panther,” in theaters February 16, 2018!

“We are fortunate to have such an esteemed filmmaker join the Marvel family,” said producer Kevin Feige. “The talents Ryan showcased in his first two films easily made him our top choice to direct ‘Black Panther.’ 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.”

Coogler wrote and directed his first award-winning feature film, “Fruitvale Station,” in 2013. Most recently he directed the critically-acclaimed “Creed,” which earned Sylvester Stallone a Golden Globe for Best Performance by an Actor in a Supporting Role in a Motion Picture.

Black Panther has been an important character in the Marvel universe for 50 years. He is the king of the technologically-advanced nation of Wakanda, and Panther has served as a member of the Avengers in addition to his many solo adventures.

Coogler is represented by WME and Cohen Gardner LLP.

Black Panther is set to hit movie theaters on July 6, 2018. Chadwick Boseman, who will make his debut as T’Challa / Black Panther in this year’s Captain America: Civil War, will star in the film.

As always, for all things Black Panther, be sure to follow along here.

Source: Marvel.