Published 9:01 PM EDT Oct 11, 2018
Ryan Coogler excelled as the writer-director of "Black Panther," making the Marvel superhero the movie event of 2018 back in February – with critical acclaim, awards discussion this fall and $1.3 billion in worldwide ticket sales.
Little surprise that Coogler will return in the same roles for "Black Panther 2," a person familiar with the film project, but not authorized to speak publicly about it, confirms to USA TODAY.
The Hollywood Reporter, which broke the news of signing, says the plan is for Coogler to write the script next year with an eye to start production in either late 2019 or early 2020.
The "Creed" and "Fruitvale Station" director Coogler is a hot Hollywood property, developing the drama "Wrong Answer" with "Black Panther" star and frequent collaborator Michael B. Jordan. Coogler also is executive producing LeBron James’ "Space Jam" sequel and "Creed 2."
There are not many firm details about the secretive project "Black Panther" sequel, not even an official title – which will be announced to much fanfare at a Disney fan event in the future. Marvel and parent company Disney have not set a release date.
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Also: 'Black Panther': What those end-credits scenes tell us (spoilers!) about Marvel's future
While the cast for the sequel has not been announced, certainly look for Chadwick Boseman to reprise his role as Black Panther/T'Challa, the king of the African nation Wakanda.
Even though Black Panther was wiped out by Thanos, along with half the Marvel superhero population, with a snap of the finger at the end of "Avengers: Infinity War," T'Challa will be back. You can count on that.
Boseman told USA TODAY in February: "There’s a hero here that I hope people grow to love. Not just because of physical strength, but because of his heart. That’s what makes a great leader."
Expect Lupita Nyong’o (Nakia), Danai Gurira (Okoye), Letitia Wright (Shuri), Winston Duke (M’Baku) and Daniel Kaluuya (W’Kabi) to return.
There have even been reports that Jordan could return somehow as the (spoiler) dead villain, Erik Killmonger.
As far as the story, that's the big mystery. Certainly expect the story to move beyond the long-secretive Wakanda. As the post-credits scene in "Black Panther" showed, T’Challa announced at the United Nations in Vienna that Wakanda will be sharing its knowledge and resources with the rest of the globe.
“Wakanda will no longer watch from the shadows. We cannot. We must not,” he said, “We must find a way to look after one another, as if we were one single tribe.” And when a representative from another country condescendingly questioned what a place like Wakanda could offer the rest of the world, T’Challa gave a knowing smile.
Marvel Studios president Kevin Feige gave some hints of the story process during an interview with Entertainment Weekly in March.
"One of the favorite pastimes at Marvel Studios is sitting around on a Part One talking and dreaming about what we would do in a Part Two. There have been plenty of those conversations as we were putting together the first 'Black Panther,' " he said. "We have ideas and a pretty solid direction on where we want to head with the second one."