How Ryan Coogler Worked With The Russo Brothers During The Making Of Black Panther

Black Panther The Avengers: Infinity War

The Marvel Cinematic Universe is a movie franchise unlike any other, but with that position comes some notable issues, and certainly one of the most significant is maintaining continuity between projects. With multiple movies being made at the same time by very different filmmakers with very different ideas at the helm, efforts need to be made to make sure that nobody is stepping on anyone else's toes. Fortunately, that's something that Marvel Studios has figured out, as I recently learned from Black Panther director Ryan Coogler talking about his work with Avengers: Infinity War directors Joe and Anthony Russo:

We would talk quite a bit. And I think that Marvel has kind of developed an incredible way of working where they have executives on each project who communicate with each other, who keep it going. So the Russos and I, or Taika [Waititi], anybody, doesn't have to constantly be in [contact] with each other. We could still make our own movies.

This year marks the 10th year in existence for the Marvel Cinematic Universe, and they have made it very clear in that time that the folks that are calling all of the shots behind the scenes have a good idea of what they're doing. I had the chance to recently learn about these inner-workings when I sat down with Ryan Coogler during the Black Panther Los Angeles press day late last month, discussing how he collaborated with other filmmakers during the making of his first comic book movie. And while most people are ready to recognize the masterful work of Marvel Studios President Kevin Feige, there is also a lot of credit to be given to producers like Nate Moore, Brad Winderbaum, and Jeremy Latcham who work closely with each project had ensure cohesion with everything else that's going on.

Both Black Panther and The Avengers: Infinity War were in production simultaneously in the first half of 2017 down in Atlanta, Georgia, but the intense business of those events apparently didn't impede the way that the various franchise filmmakers collaborate. Marvel Studios has clearly devised a system that allows franchise directors to be in touch with one another even when they are at their busiest - but what's also nice to know is that there does exist a nice community between the group as well. Based on what I learned from Ryan Coogler, the creative men and women behind the superhero world do occasionally run into each other at the Marvel offices where all of the biggest decisions are made, creating what is ultimately a very supportive environment. Said the writer/director,

That said, the communication process there is really like a family. I felt incredibly supported by Taika, by Joe and Anthony, and all those guys - [Captain Marvel directors] Ryan Fleck and Anna Boden, they are in the offices now. I see all those guys and talk to them. So you feel supported, and Anthony and Joe, they did me the greatest... they threw me the greatest alley-oop by casting Chadwick [Boseman], and John Kani, and Florence Kasumba. I inherited these great actors from those guys, and was able to build around them. So I'll forever be grateful for that.

You can watch Ryan Coogler discuss working within the Marvel system and working with other MCU filmmakers by clicking play on the video below.

Black Panther stars Chadwick Boseman, Michael B. Jordan, Lupita Nyong'o, Danai Gurira, Forest Whitaker, Angela Bassett, Martin Freeman, Andy Serkis, Winston Duke, and Daniel Kaluuya, and arrives in theaters this Friday, February 16th. I'll have plenty more interview goodness coming your way in the next few days here on CinemaBlend, so stay tuned!

Eric Eisenberg
Assistant Managing Editor

Eric Eisenberg is the Assistant Managing Editor at CinemaBlend. After graduating Boston University and earning a bachelor’s degree in journalism, he took a part-time job as a staff writer for CinemaBlend, and after six months was offered the opportunity to move to Los Angeles and take on a newly created West Coast Editor position. Over a decade later, he's continuing to advance his interests and expertise. In addition to conducting filmmaker interviews and contributing to the news and feature content of the site, Eric also oversees the Movie Reviews section, writes the the weekend box office report (published Sundays), and is the site's resident Stephen King expert. He has two King-related columns.