Ryan Coogler is a rumored favorite to direct the MCU’s ‘X-Men’ movie. Here’s why this needs to be more than a rumor SuperNayr

Navigating the Marvel Cinematic Universe rumor mill is like walking into Costco with a $5 bill; the possibilities are endless and kind of spectacular in some instances, but it never truly means much when you can’t buy it.

But every now and again, a rumor comes along and manages to set itself apart from all the emotive Phase Six predictions and millions of casting rumors (although, should even the slightest whisper of Reneé Rapp’s casting as Gwenpool roll into the zeitgeist, I admit I’ll shamelessly and happily accept it as truth). It does this by making enough sense to be believable, but also keeping the door open to similar, equally exciting developments without losing sight of the rumor’s core. Marvel Studios wanting Ryan Coogler to helm their live-action X-Men film is one of these rumors.

Should Ryan Coogler really direct Marvel’s upcoming X-Men movie?

X-Men '97 team
Screenshot via Marvel Animation

First, let’s get the essentials out of the way: Coogler is a tried-and-true Marvel Studios partner who’s already spearheaded Black Panther and Black Panther: Wakanda Forever, the former of which got a Best Picture nomination at the Academy Awards. That right there is all the reason one should need to trust the likes of Coogler with an important, socially-conscious superhero movie like X-Men.

But it goes deeper than just his Marvel history. Coogler served as a producer on Shaka King’s Judas and the Black Messiah, whose powerfully incisive themes of oppression, prejudice, and revolution would be right at home in an X-Men film done right. He’s also worked with They Cloned Tyrone mastermind Juel Taylor on Creed II, which Coogler executive produced and Taylor directed. They Cloned Tyrone, of course, has its own markedly unique ideas about the nuances of oppression and how it can manifest against those who face it.

All this to say, not only does Coogler have a myriad of experience with both the MCU and top-of-the-class political movies, but the circles he swims in are full of people who share a similar knack for the specific kind of sci-fi storytelling that an X-Men movie needs (Black Messiah star Daniel Kaluuya recently made his directorial debut with the sci-fi flick The Kitchen), and it’s no great assumption that he’s learned from his peers just as much as they’ve learned from him. So, even if Coogler doesn’t end up as the director, Marvel would be extremely remiss to not include him in the creative process in some capacity, especially considering that Storm — who of course is not only one of the most prominent X-Men, but one of the most prominent Marvel heroes overall — has historically had very close ties to Coogler’s bread and butter of Wakanda.

For now, though, X-Men fans don’t seem to be in the same sort of survival mode they once were. Indeed, thanks largely to showrunner Beau DeMayo, X-Men ’97 (now streaming on Disney Plus) has spent all of spring leaving viewers traumatized, awe-inspired, and happy as clams as far as mutants are concerned. A live-action X-Men film will be welcome all the same, of course, and come to think of it, Coogler-DeMayo has a nice ring to it…


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