After the news surfaced that “Black Panther” hit the $1 billion mark in global box office sales this past weekend and a sequel has been confirmed, there will surely be a number of people in line to direct future films if Ryan Coogler steps aside for any reason. But one Hollywood producer said if that does happen, only Black directors should get the gig.
Will Packer, who’s produced hit films like “Girls Trip,” “Straight Outta Compton” and “Think Like a Man,” recently spoke to a TMZ reporter, who asked him if a white person, like Hollywood heavyweight J.J. Abrams, wanted to direct “Black Panther” films would he be able to?
According to the successful producer, if Coogler did quit, white directors shouldn’t even apply for the job.
“Nah,” said Packer. “You got to keep it with Coogler. The only way you switch it up with Coogler, if he just don’t want to do it … If he don’t want to do it you got to find another melanin infused brother. I’m going to tell you that right now. This is the one time where it hurts you to be a white director in Hollywood.”
Meanwhile, Coogler congratulated fellow director Ava DuVernay, whose film “Wrinkle in Time” grabbed the No. 2 position at the box office this weekend behind “Black Panther.” It’s the first time two movies made by Black directors with budgets exceeding $100 million held the top two spots.
“Ava is the past, present and future,” wrote Coogler in open letter to DuVernay. “She is all of these things, but sometimes I forget she is human. I was reminded of this a couple of years back, when I got the heartbreaking news that she had lost her father.”
“Then she infused the love she had for her father, and her mother who is still with us, into the beautiful film ‘A Wrinkle in Time,'” he added. “I watched closely from across the hall at Disney while working on ‘Black Panther’ as my big sister inspired her crew with love and navigated the challenges of studio filmmaking, adapting a book that many people called unfilmable into a movie that explodes with hope, with love and with women warriors.”