Ryan Coogler reveals which Spider-Man villain he wanted for Black Panther (EXCLUSIVE)

When you make a Marvel movie, you’re not just making your film, you’re fitting in with every other MCU flick that came before it and – especially – with everything that will come after it.

With Infinity War looming, did Black Panther director Ryan Coogler want to do something that didn’t fit in with the overall universe?

“No, not at all. That never happened. It was possible, maybe if I wanted to kill T’Challa or something. But nothing I wanted to do creatively came into conflict with what Joe and Anthony [Russo] were doing with their film – and I wasn’t encouraged to do anything that strayed from that by the studio either. It was a beautiful situation.”

As the Black Panther movie proves, Ryan Coogler knows his comics – so much so he wanted to stay true to a very particular (and very special) run of issues.

“Being a Marvel fan, you want to grab all the characters. You realise there’s contractual things. You don’t have that character. There was a Christopher Priest run that was pretty heavy, there’s a big scene where Panther’s fighting Kraven, Kraven the Hunter.”

“I’ve always loved Kraven the Hunter in almost every iteration. So there was a moment – ‘Can I grab Kraven?’ – and they were ‘Nah, you don’t have Kraven.’ He was one where I thought ‘Oh, man.’ But I don’t even know if he would have worked in the movie we ended up with, this was the early days.”

Kraven has yet to appear in a Spider-Man film, but he’s one of the character’s most popular villains, first appearing in The Amazing Spider-Man #15 way back in 1964. A crazed big-game hunter who likes going after superheroes named after animals, Kraven is both ridiculous and terrifying.

The fact Coogler couldn’t use Kraven could mean that Marvel has plans for him in an upcoming project – potentially Homecoming 2.

Black Panther is out in the UK on 13 February, and here’s the official synopsis:

After the death of his father, T’Challa returns home to the African nation of Wakanda to take his rightful place as king. When a powerful enemy suddenly reappears, T’Challa’s mettle as king — and as Black Panther — gets tested when he’s drawn into a conflict that puts the fate of Wakanda and the entire world at risk. Faced with treachery and danger, the young king must rally his allies and release the full power of Black Panther to defeat his foes and secure the safety of his people.

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