Any man who can breathe fresh and vital life into the long-in-the-tooth Rocky franchise is alright in my book: I’m referring here to director Ryan Coogler who, in 2015, landed a one-two punch with the crackling film Creed. Where did that strength and force of will come from? In 2013 Coogler announced his arrival profoundly with the brilliant film Fruitvale Station and, of course, his 2018 film Black Panther also put the world on notice that this man could apparently do just about anything when it came to directing. He’s just that damn good. And, according to The Hollywood Reporter, Disney feels the same way.
Disney TV knows a good thing when they see it: Director Ryan Coogler has just been signed to a five year deal with the House That Mickey Built. The deal, announced yesterday, will see Coogler’s production shingle Proximity Media develop series for various and sundry Disney outlets.
In a press release, Disney executive chairman Bob Iger said that “Ryan Coogler is a singular storyteller whose vision and range have made him one of the standout filmmakers of his generation. 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.”
Part of the deal signed by Coogler includes an upcoming Black Panther spin-off in the form of a Wakanda-based Disney+ ongoing series. Coogler will also be in the enviable position of having a hand in various other shows that are set in the Marvel Film Universe. At the moment, the busy director is scripting a sequel to the first Black Panther film.
In a statement, Coogler said that “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. 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.”