With Marvel’s post-Avengers: Infinity War movie slate still TBD, Black Panther director Ryan Coogler gave his blessing to what some fans have already been praying for: a Black Panther spin-off focusing on the women of Wakanda.
During a nearly two-hour-long talk with Coogler at the Cannes Film Festival, he was asked if he’d ever put together such a movie. “Oh man. That would be amazing if the opportunity came up,” Coogler replied, according to Variety. “They did it in the comic-book version.”
Indeed they did.
The Black Panther comic book relaunch from Ta-Nehisi Coates and Brian Stelfreze, released in 2016, placed a newfound focus on the Dora Milaje, Wakanda’s team of elite female fighters. Roxane Gay, Yona Harvey, Alitha E. Martinez, and Afua Richardson then came out with the World of Wakanda series that focused on Ayo and Aneka, two women who fell in love while training to become Dora. Now, writer Nnedi Okorafor and artist Alberto Jimenez Alburquerque are planning for the release of their latest comic, Wakanda Forever: The Amazing Spider-Man, a team-up of the Dora with Marvel’s friendly neighborhood wall-crawler.
Nakia (Lupita Nyong’o), Okoye (Danai Gurira), and Shuri (Letitia Wright) all received standout moments in the Black Panther movie, so why not have them get some sort of World of Wakanda-esque movie? (Especially since the first one made so much money.)
“There’s a whole section of the film where T’Challa is out of the movie and you’re just following the women,” Coogler said. “That’s one of my favorite parts of the movie when I watched it, and I didn’t expect that.” These actresses, he added, “could easily carry their own movie.”
When asked about a Black Panther sequel for a March article, Marvel Studios President Kevin Feige told EW he had “nothing specific to reveal, other than to say we absolutely will do that.” After fans saw the events of Avengers: Infinity War in theaters, we all got a better idea as to why Marvel has been holding off on announcing any kind of sequels.
There also seems to be a new focus on the women of the MCU. Ahead of the arrival of Ant-Man and the Wasp with Evangeline Lilly this July 6 and Brie Larson’s Captain Marvel on March 6, 2019, the studio has been working on a movie about Scarlett Johansson’s Natasha Romanoff (a.k.a. Black Widow).
Feige also agreed in an interview with Vulture that “you can make a whole movie” about Nakia, Okoye, and Shuri, stoking rumors about an all-female Avengers movie.
“I think it is a rumor, but the cool thing is that it’s showing there’s this hunger for that type of thing,” Gurira had told Ellen DeGeneres of those rumblings. “I know that the awesome Brie Larson is filming Captain Marvel as we speak, so these things are starting to happen, and I think it’s really exciting because it shows that yeah, of course, it’s time we start seeing the perspective of the story come exclusively from women.”