Black Panther Close To Hiring Screenwriter
Marvel’s Black Panther is slated for a 2018 release date (pushed up from July 2018), but development should get going very quickly if they want to hit that target. Right now, no director or writer is attached, and while we’ve heard rumors that Straight Outta Compton director F. Gary Gray is on the shortlist, we’re also starting to hear about writers as well.
The Wrap is reporting that Marvel has closed in on Joe Robert Cole to write the screenplay for the Chadwick Boseman solo film. Cole comes from Marvel’s in-house screenwriting program that birthed Guardians of the Galaxy and he also worked on a rejected Inhumans script.
Along with news of a screenwriter for Black Panther, TheWrap also says Marvel won’t settle on a director until there is a screenplay in place. Marvel did approach Selma director Ava DuVernay earlier this year to direct the film, but she declined it, preferring to go off and make a film that she could call her own.
While Gray was considered to be a possible choice for Black Panther, it’s probably best Marvel isn’t actively seeking directors at this time, since he is Universal’s first choice for the Vin Diesel-starrer Furious 8. That means he no longer, or never has had to, choose between the two projects. While it’s still theoretically possible for him to tackle both, the workload would be a huge juggling act.
There’s a few other takeaways that I can gleam from this information. Firstly, Marvel was willing to hire a director first to spearhead the project but it looks like time is an issue now so they have to forge ahead. DuVernay and Marvel wanted the film to be different things, and the studio has hired a screenwriter, so a concept is already in the works. It may even have been worked out as far back as the planning stages of Avengers: Age of Ultron and Captain America: Civil War, with the inclusion of Ulysses Klau and T’Challa.
A final bit of interest is to note that Nicole Perlman wrote Guardians of the Galaxy, director James Gunn also did a pass on it before it went into production. That means that even if Cole gets the job of writing the screenplay, it’s possible that whoever ultimately directs Black Panther could have it rewritten.
Black Panther will premiere in theaters now on February 16, 2018.