Earlier this year, Black Panther opened in theaters and became an instant blockbuster. It earned overwhelmingly positive reviews and grossed over $1.3 billion at the box office. Saying director Ryan Coogler has a high bar to cross with the sequel is a bit of an understatement, but he isn’t worried about the pressure that comes with following up an iconic movie.
Before taking the reins in Black Panther, Coogler stuck with dramatic character explorations with Fruitvale Station and Creed that earned him an impressive reputation. But now that he jumped onto blockbuster movies, and directed one of the most successful ones ever in the process, he admits the pressure is definitely there in an interview with IndieWire but he isn’t paying too much attention to it.
“I think the pressure is kind of always going to be there,” said Coogler. “I’ve had a chance to make three feature films, each one of them had its own very specific type of pressure. In the process of it, it feels insurmountable each time.”
The insurmountable feeling he mentions isn’t hard to quantify. To put into context the breakthrough that Black Panther was, just look at its impressive list of achievements. It’s not only the best reviewed MCU movie ever (97-percent Rotten Tomatoes score), it’s one of the best reviewed movies of all time. It may even end up winning an Oscar. And in a feat nobody saw coming, Black Panther outgrossed Avengers: Infinity War at the domestic box office becoming the most successful MCU movie domestically.
The sequel will present a set of new challenges for Coogler, but he’s ready for the challenge.
“When it comes to making a sequel, I’ve never done it before, a sequel to something that I’ve directed myself,” said Coogler. “So I think there’s gonna be a lot of pressure there, but what we’re going to try to do is just focus on the work, like we always do.”