"Black Panther" Director Ryan Coogler Says Marvel's Current Comics Influencing His Film

At Comic-Con International in San Diego, director Ryan Coogler offered new insight into the direction of his upcoming "Black Panther" movie, saying his story will draw heavily from the current best-selling comic books.

"Black Panther" is currently a best-selling series written by Ta-Nehisi Coates, a senior editor and national correspondent at "The Atlantic," who frequently writes non-fiction about African American issues. Penciled by Brian Stelfreeze, and colored by Laura Martin, the new series has been well-received by critics and readers alike.

In an interview with Vulture at SDCC, Coogler cited Coates' work as an influence on his movie. Asked about the series, he said, "Oh, I love it, man. I mean, he's my favorite writer right now in the world. Since being turned on to his work, I'm reading everything that he does. His nonfiction work, especially. But what he's doing with 'Panther' is just incredible. You can really see his background as a poet in some of the dialogue. And what Brian Stelfreeze is doing with the visuals in that book. And some of the questions that it's asking. It's just inspiring for [co-screenwriter] Joe Robert Cole and myself.

"What's so great about Panther is he's a superhero who, if you grab him and ask him if he's a superhero, he'll tell you, 'No,'" Coogler continued. "He sees himself as a politician, as a leader in his country. It just so happens that the country is a warrior-based nation where the leaders have to be warriors, as well, so sometimes he has to go fight. I think starting at that is really so interesting. If you look at that, anything that's happening in the world right now, or in the world in the past, in the political realm and how people deal with each other, it can be an inspiration."

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