Ryan Coogler, director of Marvel’s upcoming Black Panther movie, said that despite his last two films hitting close to home, this is going to be his most personal project yet.
Coogler told FastCompany that even with his last movie, Creed, having a direct tie to his relationship with his father, it was Black Panther that he felt closest to. Coogler said that he’s obsessed with the character and the character’s storyline right now, and thought that Black Panther could be Marvel’s next big character.
“It’s going to be my most personal movie to date, which is crazy to say, but it’s completely the case,” he said.
Coogler also spoke to the fact that more studios were interested in building cinematic universes — reiterating the point that Marvel was the only one doing it successfully thus far — and that was making it difficult to make movies feel personal. One of his main goals going into the movie was not only to highlight the character, but also find a way to make the movie feel incredibly personal to the audience, too.
Comparing it to the process he had going into Creed, Coogler spoke about how he wasn’t trying to make a “black Rocky” movie, but instead was trying to tell the story of what people like his dad went through. He added that Rocky was his dad’s favorite movie and Creed ended up becoming an allegorical experience.
Coogler, who also directed Fruitvale Station, will team up with Michael B. Jordan for a third time for Black Panther. The movie will also star Chadwick Boseman as the titular superhero and Lupita Nyong’o as his love interest.
Black Panther is slated to be released Feb. 12, 2018.