When passion meets opportunity success will always follow.
Black Panther was released on 16th February 2018 and it was the first Marvel masterpiece to win the Oscar award.
The same movie would also see some of its actors such as the late Chadwick Boseman, Lupita Nyong’o among others rise to a global scale.
However, my particular interest in this movie has been the man behind the storyline of Wakanda who happens to be none other than Ryan Coogler.
Ryan Coogler is an American film director, producer, and screenwriter born on 23rd May 1986.
As a great fan of African Superheros, he used to frequently visit the comic stores, and one day he came across Black Panther King T’Challa, the ruler of Wakanda. It is said Ryan spent hours in class daydreaming about the mythical African kingdom of Wakanda unaware that decades later he would bring that same story to the big screen.
Young and broke Ryan live out of his car during his first semester at film school and worked as security at a nightclub to make extra money.
Ryan was inspired by Silvester Stallone’s Rocky Bilbao movie and at some point when his dad was bedridden he watched Rocky and wounded how a fearless hero like Bilbao would handle an illness like his dad’s.
Ryan would proceed to beg Sylvester Stallone’s team for a meeting and even though Stallone was hesitant first as he struggled to understand Ryan’s vision he finally agreed to give him a role in one of his films. Little did he know that his role in the film would get him an Oscar nomination.
While shooting the film, Ryan got a call from Marvel studios that would change his life. Coincidentally, they wanted him to direct his superhero, Black Panther but he had his doubts. So he decided to drive down to his childhood comic store to clear his head. He remembered how happy he was when he first read the story of black panther and now comes an opportunity to share that feeling with millions of other kids of the 21st century. Ryan was finally ready to share his dream of Wakanda with the world.
Before shooting, he toured Africa to learn more about African culture and ritual for the film and worked tirelessly till 3.00 am most nights, crashing on a sofa in his office for naps.
Ryan's work paid off when Black Panther became the 3rd fastest grossing movie of its time ranking in over $263 million in its first 5 days.
Recently, Ryan announced Black Panther 2 will be available by July this year that will see the return of KillMonger but will not include a CG Chadwick Boseman.