A series set in Wakanda is in development at Disney Plus.
The series is part of a new multi-year overall television deal Ryan Coogler and his Proximity Media have signed with The Walt Disney Company and will include other television projects in the future. Coogler previously directed and co-wrote the hit Marvel film “Black Panther,” which takes place in the fictional African nation of Wakanda. Coogler is currently at work on the film’s sequel.
The deal will enable Proximity to develop shows for other divisions of the Walt Disney Company as well. Along with Coogler, Proximity’s principals are Zinzi Coogler, Sev Ohanian, Ludwig Göransson, Archie Davis and Peter Nicks.
“Ryan Coogler is a singular storyteller whose vision and range have made him one of the standout filmmakers of his generation,” said Bob Iger, executive chairman of The Walt Disney Company. “With ‘Black Panther,’ Ryan brought a groundbreaking story and iconic characters to life in a real, meaningful and memorable way, creating a watershed cultural moment. We’re thrilled to strengthen our relationship and look forward to telling more great stories with Ryan and his team.”
Should the Wakanda project go to series, it would be the latest show set within the Marvel Cinematic Universe to make its way to Disney Plus. The streamer recently launched its first such show, “WandaVision,” with “Falcon and Winter Soldier” and “Loki” also on deck. Others include “Hawkeye,” “Moon Knight,” “She-Hulk,” and “Ms. Marvel.” There are also shows on the way focusing on Nick Fury with Samuel L. Jackson starring, the character War Machine played by Don Cheadle, and Dominique Thorne starring in “Ironheart.”
“It’s an honor to be partnering with The Walt Disney Company,” Coogler said. “Working with them on ‘Black Panther’ was a dream come true. As avid consumers of television, we couldn’t be happier to be launching our television business with Bob Iger, Dana Walden and all the amazing studios under the Disney umbrella. We look forward to learning, growing, and building a relationship with audiences all over the world through the Disney platforms. We are especially excited that we will be taking our first leap with Kevin Feige, Louis D’Esposito, Victoria Alonso and their partners at Marvel Studios where we will be working closely with them on select MCU shows for Disney+. We’re already in the mix on some projects that we can’t wait to share.”
The deal was negotiated on behalf of Proximity Media by WME, Charles King of M88 and Jonathan Gardner, Esq. of Cohen & Gardner.
“Black Panther” was a smash hit for Disney and Marvel, grossing nearly $1.35 billion worldwide. The film has taken on increased meaning of late after the sudden death of star Chadwick Boseman from colon cancer back in August.
Variety's Joe Otterson contributed to this post.