10 Reasons Black Panther’s Ryan Coogler Is The Perfect Director For The MCU’s X-Men Reboot

  • Marvel Studios is developing an X-Men reboot for the MCU, though not much is known about the highly-anticipated project.
  • Black Panther director Ryan Coogler has been rumored to be the director of the MCU's upcoming X-Men reboot.
  • Ryan Coogler's previous work proves he'd be perfect to direct Marvel Studios' X-Men reboot.
Marvel Studios director Ryan Coogler has recently been rumored to be directing the X-Men reboot for the MCU, and his previous work proves he'd be perfect to assume this coveted position. Marvel Studios chief Kevin Feige first teased the introduction of mutants into the MCU in 2019, shortly after Disney's acquisition of 20th Century Fox was finalized. While this process has been slow so far, with only a handful of mutants introduced to the MCU, Marvel Studios has confirmed the development of the MCU's X-Men reboot, which is expected to reinvent the X-Men following the conclusion of Fox's two-decade-long franchise.
While 2024's Deadpool & Wolverine is set to catch up with the X-Men heroes of Fox's superhero franchise, Marvel Studios has already debuted several mutants in the MCU's main continuity, though there's been no sign of the X-Men team itself. By September 2023, Marvel Studios was searching for writers for the X-Men reboot, and while a director hasn't yet been confirmed, recent speculation suggests Ryan Coogler may be a new favorite for the position. Coogler's work on Marvel Studios' Black Panther franchise, and his experience on projects outside the MCU, proves he'd be perfect as the X-Men reboot's director.
Your browser does not support the video tag. Related Every Mutant Confirmed To Exist In The MCU In a surprisingly short time, Marvel has introduced several mutants into the MCU. Here"s every mutant character confirmed to exist in Marvel"s world.
10 Ryan Cooler Is One Of The MCU’s Most Successful Directors The Black Panther Franchise Has Grossed Over $2 Billion At The Global Box Office Close Since the beginning of the MCU in 2008, many acclaimed directors have taken on projects in the franchise, including the likes of Jon Favreau, Sam Raimi, Taika Waititi, James Gunn and the Russo brothers. Ryan Coogler is among this list of excellent MCU directors, having brought in over $2 billion at the global box office with Black Panther and Black Panther: Wakanda Forever. This success means the MCU's X-Men reboot would be in safe hands with Coogler, and may even be eligible for notable accolades.
The Black Panther Franchise Is The Only One In The MCU To Earn Oscars Many MCU projects have been nominated for Academy Awards, most notably for Best Visual Effects. Marvel Studios has only had four Oscar wins, however, all earned by the Black Panther franchise. This includes Best Costume Design, Best Original Score, and Best Production design for 2018's Black Panther, and Best Costume Design for 2022's Black Panther: Wakanda Forever, which could raise hopes for the MCU's X-Men.
9 Black Panther’s Supporting Characters Shine As Much As The Main Stars Everyone In The Black Panther Franchise Is Fleshed Out While the MCU's Black Panther franchise has focused primarily on the titular enhanced superhero, the franchise's supporting characters are also fully fleshed out, which would be paramount to an X-Men adaptation. Ryan Coogler has given complex backstories and motivations to the likes of M'Baku, Okoye, Nakia, and Everett Ross, expanding the world of Black Panther brilliantly. Marvel Comics' X-Men have some of the most vibrant supporting characters, and it would be great to see Coogler explore them in depth in the MCU.
MCU's X-Men Can Debut Some Of The Most Exciting Supporting Characters Marvel Studios' X-Men '97 has recently put the spotlight on X-Men supporting characters including Valerie Cooper, Lilandra, and Forge. It would be fantastic to see them make the move to live-action, as well as the MCU reinventing the likes of Senator Kelly, William Stryker, and Moira MacTaggert, all of whom appeared in Fox's X-Men franchise. Coogler would be able to give these characters real weight in the MCU.
Related Recasting X-Men '97's Mutants For The MCU's Live-Action Franchise X-Men "97 has brought back classic incarnations of many X-Men characters, and adapting them into live-action would require the right actors.
8 Ryan Coogler Grew Up Reading X-Men Comics Ryan Coogler Also Grew Up Reading Black Panther Comics During an interview with MTV UK in January 2016, Ryan Coogler revealed that, as a child, he had read both Black Panther and X-Men stories in Marvel Comics. Both of these titles featured powerful Black superheroes, which Coogler admired and was influenced by. The fact that the X-Men have been such a huge part of Coogler's journey, leading to him becoming an acclaimed director, means he would be the perfect guardian of the X-Men in the MCU, and this has recently been proven by another creator.
X-Men '97 Proved The Importance Of Hiring A Marvel Comics Fan X-Men '97 creator Beau DeMayo is also a huge Marvel Comics fan, which surely contributed to the huge success of the 2024 revival. In only ten episodes, X-Men '97 has become one of the most popular Marvel Studios projects, somewhat attributed to its faithful adaptation of several iconic Marvel Comics storylines. Coogler could repeat this with his favorite X-Men moments in the MCU's future.
7 X-Men & Black Panther Characters Are Intricately Connected Ryan Coogler Has Already Introduced Elements Of The X-Men's Story Ryan Coogler has displayed his mastery of guiding the Black Panther franchise in the MCU, developing the beautiful world of Wakanda and its culture and characters. This could provide the perfect way to introduce mutant heroes, too, particularly since Marvel Comics' Ororo Munroe, a.k.a. Storm, is intricately connected to Wakanda and the Black Panther. The pair were married for several years after meeting as children, and Coogler is the best person to tell this story in the MCU's future.
Will Storm & The Black Panther Have A Relationship In The MCU? It became questionable whether Storm's backstory would be adapted accurately for the MCU after the tragic passing of Chadwick Boseman in 2020. Boseman portrayed T'Challa in the MCU, who could have crossed paths with Storm, so there is doubt that this story will now be told. However, Black Panther: Wakanda Forever introduced the young Prince T'Challa, so perhaps a younger Storm could also appear, telling this story from the very beginning.
Halle Berry and Alexandra Shipp portrayed Ororo Munroe's Storm in Fox's X-Men franchise.
6 Ryan Coogler Already Introduced A Whole New World To The MCU Wakanda Was The Perfect Test For The MCU's X-Men Close The X-Men's introduction into the MCU will also come an entire culture and some of Marvel Comics' most iconic locations, so whoever takes on the X-Men reboot will need the confidence to debut so many story aspects at once. Ryan Coogler has already pulled this off with the Black Panther franchise. Wakanda and its mythology is one of the most intricate in the MCU, and Coogler fleshed out an entire backstory, aesthetic, and culture for the nation. This was repeated with the underwater nation of Talokan in Black Panther: Wakanda Forever.
What X-Men Locations Could Be Introduced To The MCU? While Xavier's School for Gifted Youngsters in Westchester is perhaps the most notable X-Men-related location, others will surely be introduced to the MCU. The mutant nations of Genosha and Krakoa could have been hiding mutants in the MCU's history, while the Morlocks' Tunnels, the Savage Land, Asteroid M, and Muir Island could also be brought into live-action by Coogler.
5 Black Panther Focuses On The Ensemble & X-Men Will Do The Same The X-Men Need To Be A True Ensemble In The MCU Indeed, the Black Panther is the leader of the Black Panther franchise in the MCU, but it's the entire ensemble that makes Coogler's Marvel Studios projects so spectacular. This must be repeated with the MCU's X-Men reboot, as the entire X-Men team and mutants across the world need to be developed. Fox made the mistake of focusing solely on Professor X, Magneto, and Wolverine, but Marvel Studios can expand its reach, developing even more mutant heroes in much more detail, with Coogler leading the charge.
Black Panther Isn't Only About The Black Panther Chadwick Boseman's T'Challa and Letitia Wright's Shuri have evidently been the lead stars of the Black Panther duology. However, their stories would be meaningless without the likes of Okoye, Ramonda, M'Baku, Nakia, and many others, and Coogler has managed to give each of these characters substance, too. Exploring the entire X-Men team, and other mutants, is important, and Coogler is already skilled in this respect.
Related Picking The MCU’s X-Men Team From mutants the X-Men films never really explored like Emma Frost to established characters like Storm, here’s what Marvel’s X-Men lineup should be.
4 X-Men Explores The Same Family Dynamic As Black Panther T'Challa's Family Became Even More Important In Black Panther: Wakanda Forever As well as exploring the entire ensemble, Ryan Coogler's Black Panther franchise focuses intensely on themes of family. In 2018's Black Panther, Shuri and Queen Ramonda were crucial to T'Challa's development, and even Killmonger debuted as T'Challa's own cousin, while Ramonda and Shuri's relationship was explored in a much deeper sense in T'Challa's absence in 2022's Black Panther: Wakanda Forever. These same themes will prove pivotal to the MCU's X-Men reboot.
Family Themes Must Be Pivotal To The MCU's X-Men Most members of the X-Men have been disowned by their biological family due to hatred and discrimination aimed at mutants. This makes the mutants' found family among the X-Men all the more important, so Coogler's experience exploring these family themes in the Black Panther franchise is easily transferable to Marvel Studios' X-Men storylines. It will be great to see these close bonds form in the MCU's future, particularly if Ryan Coogler is at the helm of the budding franchise.
The X-Men's family themes were explored in Fox's X-Men franchise, particularly in 2017's Logan, which saw Professor X and Wolverine form a father-son bond, and marked the debut of Wolverine's daughter, X-23.
3 Black Panther Walks The Line Of Sci-Fi & Realism Black Panther's World Is Fantastical But Believable One of the strongest aspects of the MCU's Black Panther franchise that Ryan Coogler has truly mastered is the balance between realism and science fiction. Wakanda is a technologically-advanced nation, meaning they have equipment, tools, and abilities far more powerful than outsiders can imagine. Despite the fantastical nature of Wakanda, Coogler has made the nation and its customs feel completely realistic and believable, which is something that he could repeat as the director of Marvel Studios' X-Men reboot.
The X-Men Must Be Realistic, Despite Being Ridiculous The very nature of mutants and the X-Men means they walk the line between sci-fi and realism. They are real and regular people, enhanced with extraordinary and sometimes unimaginable abilities. Coogler can use his experience making Wakanda feel believable to bring the same concept to the X-Men, making their often-ridiculous powers feel completely real, while also showing off some of the more unbelievable and otherworldly aspects of the X-Men's Marvel Comics storylines.
Related 10 X-Men Characters Who Would Never Work In The MCU Even though the integration of mutants and the X-Men into the MCU is exciting, there are several mutants from Marvel Comics that should be ignored.
2 X-Men Biggest Villain Shares Similarities With Black Panther’s Killmonger & Magneto Share Moral Philosophies Close While both the Black Panther and X-Men franchises do, or will, focus primarily on the titular heroes, their powerful adversaries are also crucial to their developing storylines. Luckily, Ryan Coogler has already worked with a villain who is actually correct in his motivation, but wrong in his methods, in Erik "Killmonger" Stevens. This is a similar philosophy to Magneto's in Marvel's X-Men storylines, so Coogler could be uniquely qualified to bring this iconic X-Men villain into the live-action MCU.
Ryan Coogler Already Introduced A Mutant As A Villain In The Black Panther Franchise Ryan Coogler has already had the experience of working with a legendary mutant character. Black Panther: Wakanda Forever debuted Tenoch Huerta's Namor as a villain to Shuri's Black Panther. Namor was one of Marvel Comics' original heroes, and first mutants, so Coogler's expert tackling of this memorable Marvel antihero proves he would be perfect at bringing other mutant villains, such as Magneto, Apocalypse, Sabretooth, and Mystique, among others, into the MCU.
Related 10 Unused X-Men Villains Perfect For The Team's MCU Debut Many villains from Marvel Comics weren"t used in Fox"s X-Men franchise, but Marvel Studios could bring some of these iconic foes into the MCU.
1 Ryan Coogler Is An Expert At Exploring Social & Political Themes Civil Rights Themes Are Pivotal To Both The X-Men & Black Panther Perhaps the most important theme shared by both the Black Panther and X-Men franchises is that of civil rights. While Black Panther deals directly with racial issues, the MCU's X-Men storylines must include the discrimination, segregation, and diminishment of the mutant community. These are sensitive but crucial plot points in any X-Men-related narrative, so whoever takes on the MCU's X-Men reboot needs to deliver them gently, and Ryan Coogler has already demonstrated this in his previous MCU work.
Marvel Studios Needs To Make Changes Before The X-Men's Debut Since these social and political themes are so important to the X-Men's narratives, they will surely permeate into the live-action MCU. However, Marvel Studios needs to make changes before this happens, as superhuman and enhanced individuals are currently celebrated in the MCU. Ryan Coogler may be perfectly suited to delivering these themes in the MCU's X-Men reboot, but something will need to happen beforehand to set the stage for these heroes' debuts.
Marvel's X-Men Not Yet Rated ActionSuperhero Marvel's X-Men is the tentative title for the future debut of the legendary Marvel mutant superhero team in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. 
Upcoming MCU Movies
Release Date
Deadpool & Wolverine
July 26, 2024
Captain America: Brave New World
February 14, 2025
May 5, 2025
The Fantastic Four
July 25, 2025
November 7, 2025
Avengers 5
May 1, 2026
Avengers: Secret Wars
May 7, 2027


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