DuVernay is obviously one of the first directors to come to mind, and it’s not just because of her recent sweep of award season nominations. DuVernay’s Selma proved that she has the ability to navigate the complexities of the ever-present humanity that still lies behind a great hero, and that’s going to be key when it comes to Marvel’s Black Panther film. “Selma showed her ability to deconstruct the myth of a heroic figure like Martin Luther King and reveal his humanity,” The Mary Sue wrote of the director. “And not only does she reveal the man behind the legend, she shows how much the man who helped shape a movement could leave such a powerful legacy that would be elevated to mythical status. The tension between the man and the mythos is at the heart of most successful superhero stories, and is particularly crucial for the Black Panther, who is not simply a costumed crusader but a leader of a nation.”
Coogler has actually emerged as a crowd favorite on many online forums and in some social media circles. Coogler is the man responsible for capturing the emotionally charged, politically compelling social commentary that was present throughout Fruitvale Station. The film captured the tragic and heartbreaking story of Oscar Grant, the unarmed Black father who was fatally shot by a BART police officer in Oakland, California. “Coogler’s exploration of police violence avoids being simply a preachy drama focusing on a tragic moment in recent history,” The Mary Sue explains. “Instead, it is a deeply moving character study whose protagonist is far more than just a tragic victim, depicted as a deeply sympathetic and fallible human being who is instantly relatable.” That ability to leave the “preachy” approach behind while still pulling key social commentary and controversial discussions to light is exactly what Black Panther’s director would need to possess.