In Black Panther, the women warriors in the film played just as big a role as the men and director Ryan Coogler agrees. In fact, Coogler thinks a female-led Black Panter spinoff makes so much sense, according to Variety. The publication reported on May 10 that when making mention of the female leads, Angela Bassett, Lupita Nyong’o, Danai Gurira, and Letitia Wright, Coogler said "I would watch a movie with them," during a two-hour panel discussion at Cannes. Adding later that he felt as though the women in the film were as important as the men.
The box office smash hit movie took the world by storm with its African cultural musings and fresh approach to a MCU story. Since its release, the film has garnered over $1.1 billion, but the influx of positive social media responses and the continuation of some pretty important discussions surrounding the African vs. the Black American experience definitely helped to make the film the success it is today. For Coogler, one of his favorite aspects of his third box office picture was the role of the women played within. The director referenced the portion of the film where T'Challa (played by Chadwick Boseman) is seemingly dead, saying, "There’s a whole section of the film where T’Challa is out of the movie and you’re just following the women."
Within this sequence, Nakia, portrayed by Nyong'o, Princess Shuri, played by Wrights, and Queen Ramonda, who's portrayed by Bassett venture off from the homebase of Wakanda to ask M'Baka, played by Winston Duke, for his help to overthrow Michael B. Jordan's expertly played antagonist Erik Killmonger. And during that time, Gurira, who plays the general of the Dora Milaje, Okoye, makes preparations to serve the new king of Wakanda.
"That part of the movie you feel like you’re watching something fresh and new,” he continued. “That part of it was exciting. We have these actresses who could easily carry their own movie." And he's not kidding. The women owned this movie's storyarch so well that, besides being the motivation for their upheaval, T'Challa was almost an afterthought.
Coogler also notes that while having a female-led spinoff of Black Panther would be exciting, it's not too far removed from what the Marvel Comics has already had in store for one leading lady in particular. In the comics, Wright's Princess Shuri tries her hand at being the first female Black Panther, fighting alongside the Dora Milaje to defeat supreme villains like Ulysses Klaw and Radioactive Man. And after being embraced by MCU fans in the Black Panther film as much as she was, there's no reason why the charismatic actor shouldn't be given a chance to helm her own movie as apart of the franchise.
The MCU has certainly made strides to be more inclusive in their storytelling, and Black Panther, along with the introduction of female-led superhero film Captian Marvel, and the long rumored Black Widow film, totally prove this to be true. Captain Marvel, starring Brie Larson, will be the MCU's first standalone, female-led film, seemingly following the life and times of Carol Danvers — scheduled to be released in 2019. And as for Black Widow, it's yet to be confirmed whether or not the film is actually happening (with the latest news being that Disney has met with 65 potential directors), but will place Scarlett Johansson's coveted role at the helm of her own story.
A female-led Black Panther film, starring all of the amazing characters introduced during the film, will totally find a comfortable spot within the MCU lineup. And here's to hoping that its announcement comes sooner than later.