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Joe Robert Cole To Write ‘Black Panther’ For Marvel; F. Gary Gray Among Director Candidates
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Black Panther

Phase 3 of the Marvel Cinematic Universe kicks off with Captain America: Civil War. The film will end the Captain America trilogy, but it will also introduce the Spider-Man and Black Panther characters to the MCU. Chadwick Boseman will play the Prince of Wakanda, who seems to have his own agenda in Black Panther. We don’t know how exactly his presence will affect the MCU has a whole, but at least we know who will be writing his solo feature.

A new report says that Marvel has hired Joe Robert Cole (FX’s American Crime Story) to pen the script. There are also other reports saying that the studio is eyeing F. Gary Gray to direct the film. More on the story below.

The Wrap was the first to report on Cole’s involvement. They say that no directors are in consideration until Cole finishes the script. The writer hails from Marvel’s in-house writing program, the same place where Nicole Perlman got her start by writing the treatment for Guardians of the Galaxy. She then got the job to write the Captain Marvel script alongside Inside-Out co-writer Meg LeFauve. It’s being rumored that Cole also took a “crack” at the Inhumans script for Marvel, but it doesn’t look like they will use his draft or treatment.

It’s really not clear if anyone is actually under consideration at the moment, but Variety says that Straight Outta Compton director F. Gary Gray is among the contenders to direct the film. Gray is now one of the most sought out directors, thanks in part to the success of Compton, and has just entered exclusive talks with Universal and Vin Diesel to helm Furious 8. However, Marvel is also looking for a director to helm Black Panther, and may have their sights set on Gray to take the director’s chair.

Now it is important to note that he is only being considered for the job. Surely following the success of Straight Outta Compton, Gray is getting offers to direct other studio films as well. It’s unclear if he has even entered talks with Marvel or entertained the idea of directing Black Panther.

Before Marvel considered Gray to direct, the studio was in talks with Selma director Ava DuVernay. She walked away from the opportunity to direct the superhero pic citing creative differences as her reason for walking away.

But it wouldn’t be the first time that he has been close to directing a Marvel film. In 2012, Gray was on the shortlist to direct Captain America: The Winter Soldier. The job ultimately went to the Russo brothers, who would eventually sign on to direct the Avengers: Infinity War two-part epic. Like actors, directors can leave some sort of impression on the studio despite not getting the job, and could get another project given to them should that time come.

Gray is best known for directing films such as Law Abiding Citizen, Be Cool, The Italian Job, A Man Apart, The Negotiator, Set It Off, and Friday.

It’s not clear who else Marvel is looking at to direct Black Panther, but with Marvel looking at smaller indie directors to helm their films’ (Kiwi filmmaker Taika Waititi is in talks to direct Thor: Ragnarok), the studio may want to turn their attention to lesser-known directors.

Chadwick Boseman stars as the titular Black Panther, which is said to open in theaters on July 6, 2018. No word yet on who else may star in the film, but Andy Serkis, who played the nefarious arms dealer Ulysses Klaue in Avengers: Age of Ultron, may appear as an antagonist.

[Source: Variety | The Wrap]

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