Ryan Coogler Signs Disney TV Deal with 'Wakanda' Series in the Works
Black Panther filmmaker Ryan Coogler is building out the world of Wakanda.
As part of a new, exclusive, five-year overall deal between Disney TV and Coolger's Proximity Media, the writer-director is developing a Wakanda-based Disney+ series and will also have a hand in other shows set in the Marvel Cinematic Universe.
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The deal allows Proximity to develop series for Disney's other outlets as well.
“Ryan Coogler is a singular storyteller whose vision and range have made him one of the standout filmmakers of his generation,” said Disney executive chairman Bob Iger in a statement. “With Black Panther, Ryan brought a groundbreaking story and iconic characters to life in a real, meaningful and memorable way, creating a watershed cultural moment. We’re thrilled to strengthen our relationship and look forward to telling more great stories with Ryan and his team.”
Coogler runs Proximity Media with principals Zinzi Coogler, Sev Ohanian, Ludwig Göransson, Archie Davis and Peter Nicks. He is currently writing the sequel for Black Panther, the $1.34 billion-grossing 2018 film that earned a best picture nomination at the Academy Awards and starred late actor Chadwick Boseman. The sequel has a July 8, 2022, release date and is eying a July production start date.
"It’s an honor to be partnering with The Walt Disney Company. Working with them on Black Panther was a dream come true. As avid consumers of television, we couldn’t be happier to be launching our television business with Bob Iger, Dana Walden and all the amazing studios under the Disney umbrella," Coogler said in a statement. "We look forward to learning, growing, and building a relationship with audiences all over the world through the Disney platforms. We are especially excited that we will be taking our first leap with Kevin Feige, Louis D’Esposito, Victoria Alonso and their partners at Marvel Studios where we will be working closely with them on select MCU shows for Disney+. We’re already in the mix on some projects that we can't wait to share."
News of Coogler's deal comes as Disney+ leans hard into its Marvel and Star Wars brands to lure subscribers to the streaming service, which since launching in November 2019 has amassed 86 million global subscribers.
On Jan. 15, Marvel Studios made its first foray into episodic storytelling with WandaVision, the first of many planned Disney+ series. Marvel boss Kevin Feige has more than ten shows expected to debut over the next few years, with five more coming in 2021 alone. Falcon and the Winter Soldier is slated for March, with Loki due out in May. The Wakanda series hews to Feige's strategy of having his Disney+ series and films weave in and out from one another.
Negotiating for Proximity Media were WME, Charles King of M88 and Jonathan Gardner of Cohen & Gardner.
by Patrick Brzeski