As the world prepares for the Nov. 11 release of Black Panther: Wakanda Forever, writer/director Ryan Coogler is finally ready to get some rest. Of course, that doesn’t mean Marvel Cinematic Universe fans aren’t already trying to guess what his next move in the franchise might be.
In an interview for a Variety cover story, Coogler, along with Marvel Studios president Kevin Feige and Nate Moore, one of the film’s producers, discussed what’s next in the MCU for the prolific director/producer.
From the moment we set foot in Wakanda in 2018’s Black Panther, we wanted to move to the fictional African nation permanently. Clearly, Marvel Studios had the same plan, as the company made it the main set piece for Avengers: Infinity War. Now that we’re finally heading back in Wakanda Forever, everyone is wondering what else is in store for the technologically advanced country.
“This world is expansive, and there are so many great characters,” Moore said. “Beyond what happens with this film, there are more opportunities to go back to Wakanda.”
In 2019, Coogler announced that his production company, Proximity Media, was working on a Disney+ series set in Wakanda. Coming out of the pandemic, we haven’t received any updates on the project, so it’s anyone’s guess where it’s at in the development process. Marvel Studios is more secretive than the CIA, so there’s a chance we could never find out any details until one day we just get a surprise show out of nowhere like a Beyonce album. In the meantime, there’s still the possibility of returning to Wakanda for Black Panther 3. Though that may happen without Coogler, as his plans are currently up in the air. “I can tell you definitively I have no idea what I’m doing next,” he said. In fact, his sole focus at the moment is the release of Black Panther: Wakanda Forever, after which he’ll take a well-deserved break.
“It’s very difficult because you’re exhausted and emotionally spent, and I’m trying to give it all my full attention,” Coogler said. “After that, I’ll figure out what’s going on with me. But I think it’s going to be some rest and family time.”
While it’s difficult to imagine, the world of Wakanda can continue without its visionary leader, Feige echoed previous comments he made after Chadwick Boseman passed away, saying that he hopes stories of Wakanda continue for several decades.
“I go back to what I said when we decided to make Wakanda Forever after losing Chad,” Feige said. “This mythology and this ensemble and these characters deserve to continue and will continue after all of us are gone, I hope, and will continue forever in movies the way it has in comics for 50-plus years.”
Apart from Black Panther, there have been rumors and fan campaigns that the Creed director is the frontrunner to helm the Multiverse Saga finale Avengers: Secret Wars, currently set for release May 1, 2026. Despite the persistent speculation, Feige maintains that he and Coogler haven’t discussed the film.
“Well, I would want Ryan to do anything at any time because he’s a singular talent and a great person to spend years with,” Feige said. “But no, in all honesty, there’ve been no conversations. We’ve not spoken to him about Secret Wars.”
As for Coogler, after an extended production, lengthy press tour and possible awards season campaign, the filmmaker is finally ready to let go of his emotions about the film.
“I love making movies, but to quote a character in our movie, I gave this everything,” he said. “This movie got everything I have. I’m at that place where I think I’ve got this press tour in me and then I’ve got to sit down and reflect. Probably cry a lot, because I’ve been holding that back. And then from there, figure out whatever’s next.”
Starring Letitia Wright, Danai Gurira, Lupita Nyong’o, Winston Duke, Dominique Thorne, Florence Kasumba, Michaela Coel, Tenoch Huerta, Martin Freeman and Angela Bassett, Black Panther: Wakanda Forever hits theaters and starts its world domination Nov. 11.