Marvel studios officially announced Ryan Coogler as the director of Black Panther. Not only does this make me happy as the first report I’m writing in 2016, this is fantastic news all around. Fruitvale Station was Coogler knocking down the doors and announcing his intentions as a filmmaker – to be the best damn filmmaker he could possibly be. Creed was the mid-range budget movie that solidified him as one of the truly great filmmakers of the young century. Now he’s about to make his mark in the blockbuster industry with Black Panther. So to those producers pushing hard for a Creed sequel: please, please, PLEASE wait for Coogler to finish Black Panther.

Here’s what Kevin Feige had to say about Coogler joining the MCU:

“We are fortunate to have such an esteemed filmmaker join the Marvel family,” said producer Kevin Feige.  “The talents Ryan showcased in his first two films easily made him our top choice to direct ‘Black Panther.’  Many fans have waited a long time to see Black Panther in his own film, and with Ryan we know we’ve found the perfect director to bring T’Challa’s story to life.” 

A few things to remember: The Marvel “brain trust” (I use quotations because they’re the ones who pushed Edgar Wright off Ant-Man) is no more. They’re dissolved and come 2017 the MCU productions will look different from the more producer oriented goals of the middling entries in the series. If everything works out accordingly, the voice of directors and writers (both in-house and otherwise) will have more free reign to suit a standalone film story.

And free reign is what will be required to make the best Black Panther movie possible. We don’t need to be barred down by infinity stones nonsense. We don’t need white superheroes named Chris popping in to tag along. What we need is to see the nation of Wakanda, a lush and beautiful country that is more technologically advanced than any other place on the planet with the Marvel equivalent of Batman (only cooler).

Ryan Coogler has written both his previous movies along with directing. I have to imagine he’ll be given the opportunity to at least do a treatment of Black Panther. This is a hell of a way to start the Marvel promotional train in 2016.