February 21, 2018


'Black Panther' Director Ryan Coogler's Heartfelt Thank-You Letter to Fans Shows Power Beyond the Movie

Alberto E. Rodriguez/Getty Images for Disney
Alberto E. Rodriguez/Getty Images for Disney

The support and excitement surrounding Black Panther has been positively overwhelming and Ryan Coogler is definitely feeling the love. The director shared a touching letter just a few days after the film's release, thanking everyone for transforming the movie into a record-breaking zeitgeist. 

"Never in a million years did we imagine that you all would come out this strong," Coogler wrote in the letter Marvel shared on Tuesday. It still humbles me to think that people care enough to spend their money and time watching our film. But to see people of all backgrounds wearing clothing that celebrates their heritage, taking pictures next to our posters with their friends and family, and sometimes dancing in the lobbies of theaters—often moved me and my wife to tears."

He continued:

"For the people who bought out theaters, who posted on social about how lit the film would be, bragged about our awesome cast, picked out outfits to wear, and who stood in line in theaters all over the world– all before seeing the film… To the press who wrote about the film for folks who hadn’t yet seen it, and encouraged audiences to come out… And to the young ones, who came out with their parents, with their mentors, and with their friends… Thank you for giving our team of filmmakers the greatest gift: The opportunity to share this film, that we poured our hearts and souls into, with you."

The letter not only shows just how compassionate Coogler is both about his work and as a person in general, but also the impact Black Panther has made around the world. 

This is way more than just a movie; this has become an influential movement. Young black and brown kids will now be able to grow up with superheroes in lead roles who look like them, a feat that has been a rarity in Marvel and DC Comics' history. It also encapsulates the beauty of our culture, from the talented actors onscreen to the friendships that have blossomed because of this movie and the historical brilliance of African nations that isn't often explored. To witness a mainly all-black cast have this much success is unprecedented, and it shows Hollywood that the time to financially support the ideas of black producers, writers and directors is long overdue.

Marvel Studios' president Kevin Feige is a huge fan of Coogler, and has expressed his interested in working with the director again for a Black Panther sequel. It would be an opportune move, as the movie has already shattered box office records becoming the fifth-largest movie of all time, debuting with more than $200 million at the box office. The movie is also the biggest domestic debut for any film that isn't a character team-up movie or part of a sequel trilogy, as well as being the biggest Presidents’ Day four-day opening ever, raking in $235 million domestically and $404 million worldwide (and counting). The accompanying Kendrick Lamar-curated soundtrack is also soaring, making its debut at No. 1 on the Billboard 200 chart. So Ryan Coogler, we are all patiently waiting for more Marvel movies to come in the future!

Below, watch Marvel Comics' editor-in-chief Axel Alonso reveal his dream for diversity and truth: