While it may seem like a formality, Ryan Coogler has reportedly closed his deal to write and direct Black Panther 2.
Though much of the first film’s creative success is credited to Coogler and his team, Marvel Studios did not secure him for any sequels prior to the its release. But according to The Hollywood Reporter, timing was always part of the issue despite Marvel’s desire to keep the creative team in tact. Or at least, Coogler and his team evaded a quick contract in lieu of something which has to be quite lucrative. The film’s $1.3 billion worldwide cume probably helped him negotiate for most of what he wanted, if not all.
Which, if true, would be a change of pace for Marvel Studios, whose notorious contracts and extended deals were once as prevalent as the plot ties between their films. But as the studio left the control of Marvel Entertainment for Disney Studios, stories of those contracts seemed to slip away.
In fact, word broke earlier today that Scarlett Johansson has reached salary parity with the rest of the lead Avengers for her upcoming Black Widow film. Her $15 million payday is equal to Chris Evans and Chris Hemsworth’s fees for Avengers: Infinity War, their previous solo film, and May’s Avengers 4. But gaining parity is not a swift process. Johansson first appearance in a Marvel movie was 2010’s Iron Man 2 and has been working up to equal pay ever since. Brie Larson’s fee for Captain Marvel is reportedly $5 million dollars with a long-term Marvel contract reappearing to keep her in the family. The actor later called out the report for inaccuracies, simply stating it was “not true.”
Nonetheless, holding onto talent will be a bigger issue for Marvel going forward. While the loss of original directors like Jon Favreau, Kenneth Branagh, Joe Johnston and Joss Whedon never seemed to impact production schedules or the bottom line, the postponement of the third Guardians of the Galaxy following James Gunn’s dismissal indicates the films are more idiosyncratic now than they were in the earlier phases. Securing Coogler suggests they understand some talents are not easily replaced.
With Coogler set to return, production is expected to begin in late 2019 or early 2020.