Director of Black Panther Ryan Coogler has signed an exclusive five-year television deal with Disney+, via Deadline. The deal joins Disney+ with Coogler’s production company, Proximity Media.
The first series announced with the deal is a drama set in the kingdom of Wakanda, the fictional African country from Black Panther. In the announcement of the deal, Coogler stated “we’re already in the mix on some projects that we can’t wait to share” (Deadline). While only the Black Panther spin-off series has been announced, the deal allows Proximity to develop television content for the Walt Disney Company in divisions outside of the Marvel branch.
In response to the deal, Disney Executive Chairman Bob Iger stated, “with Black Panther, Ryan brought a groundbreaking story and iconic characters to life in a real, meaningful and memorable way, creating a watershed cultural moment. We’re thrilled to strengthen our relationship and look forward to telling more great stories with Ryan and his team.” (Deadline)
Coogler runs Proximity Media in partnership with Zinzi Coogler (producer, Judas and the Black Messiah), Sev Ohanian (producer, Fruitvale Station), Ludwig Göransson (composer, The Mandalorian), Archie Davis, and Peter Nicks (producer, Homeroom), via Deadline. The company’s leadership combines several of Coogler’s professional and personal relationships; Zinzi is Coogler’s wife, and Göransson is his former college roommate who collaborated with him on the soundtracks for both Creed and Black Panther. Proximity’s mission is to produce content including films, television series, podcasts, and soundtracks at varying budget levels that each focus on overlooked communities.
Fruitvale Station catapulted Coogler to fame after the film premiered at the Sundance Film Festival in 2013. Soon after his first film, Coogler directed Creed, a Rocky sequel that follows the story of Apollo Creed’s son. Black Panther is easily Coogler’s most well-known work, with the film winning two Academy Awards. The 2018 film also made history by becoming the first superhero movie to be be nominated for a Best Picture Oscar.