Even in the wake of the massive box office and critical success of Avengers: Infinity War, folks are still talking about this year’s other major Marvel blockbuster, Black Panther. Unsurprisingly, the film was one of the topics discussed during director Ryan Coogler’s two-hour talk at the Cannes Film Festival. Specifically, Coogler was asked if he’d ever consider making a spin-off film centered on the breakout women of Wakanda, played by Lupita Nyong’o (Nakia), Danai Gurira (Okoye), and Letitia Wright (Shuri).
“Oh man. That would be amazing if the opportunity came up,” Coogler replied, Variety reports. “They did it in the comic-book version.”
Indeed, when Ta-Nehisi Coates and Brian Stelfreze relaunched the Black Panther comic in 2016, they placed renewed focus on Wakanda’s elite female fighting force, the Dora Milaje, which Gurira’s Okoye led in the film. A subsequent series called World of Wakanda focused on two Dora trainees, Ayo and Aneka, falling in love. There’s even a new mini-series called Wakanda Forever: The Amazing Spider-Man in the works that will team Spidey with the Dora Milaje.
Coogler continued, saying, “There’s a whole section of the film where T’Challa is out of the movie and you’re just following the women. That’s one of my favorite parts of the movie when I watched it, and I didn’t expect that.” He added that any of the actresses “could easily carry their own movie.”
Marvel has kept pretty hush about their post-Infinity War slate, and anyone who’s seen the film understands why. However, there’s clearly going to be focus on female superheroes in the future, with Ant-Man and The Wasp debuting later this year and Brie Larson’s Captain Marvel flying into the MCU in March 2019. There’s also work being done on a Black Widow film that would star Scarlett Johansson — finally.
Marvel Studios mastermind Kevin Feige has also alluded towards wanting more women to take centerstage in the MCU movies. “It is an embarrassment of riches,” Feige told Vulture about the trio of breakout Black Panther stars. “Even watching the audience at the Black Panther premiere respond to Lupita, Letitia, and certainly Danai in their action sequences… you watch Danai spinning around in that casino, taking out dozens of people, and you go, ‘Of course you can make a whole movie about that!’”
Feige also said Tessa Thompson, who’s Valkyrie was a delight in Thor: Ragnarok, approached him about putting all of Marvel’s big female names together in one film. “It is all about figuring out when and how,” Feige said. “But by the way, many of them have already filmed additional scenes in upcoming movies, so some of that is gonna come sooner rather than later. All of them will be seen again.”