Black Panther: Wakanda Forever director Ryan Coogler responds to rumors that he has been selected to direct the 2026 MCU crossover film Avengers: Secret Wars. The 2026 Avengers movie is currently the final scheduled movie of Phase 6 of the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Coogler’s sequel to 2018’s Black Panther, which is already scoring largely positive early reactions, is right around the corner and set to debut in theaters on November 11.
Set to bring Phase 4 of the Marvel Cinematic Universe to a close, Black Panther: Wakanda Forever will return audiences to the kingdom of Wakanda during a time of crisis, as the country is left to grapple with the loss of King T’Challa (Chadwick Boseman) and the threat of conflict with the underwater nation of Talokan, led by Namor (Tenoch Huerta). Faced with the prospect of war, Shuri (Letitia Wright), Nakia (Lupita Nyong’o), Okoye (Danai Gurira), M’Baku (Winston Duke), and Queen Ramonda (Angela Bassett) must rise up to the challenge, joining forces with such new allies as Dominique Thorne’s genius inventor Riri Williams to defend Wakanda and help decide its future. With Coogler having helmed both 2018’s Black Panther and the upcoming sequel, both of which have received acclaim, many viewers feel that the director is the perfect choice to handle 2026’s widely anticipated Avengers: Secret Wars, and Coogler has now responded to rumors surrounding his potential involvement in the film.
During an interview with ComicBook.com (later reported on by The Direct), Coogler was asked whether he would be interested in directing Avengers: Secret Wars following his work on Black Panther: Wakanda Forever. The director quickly dismissed the idea, emphasizing that he was still focused on the Black Panther sequel for the time being. Check out the full exchange with the director below:
Aaron Perine: Ok. Some of the fans want you direct Secret Wars. You open to that if they want you?
Ryan Coogler: Say what now?
Perine: They want you to direct Secret Wars. The fans, the streets, that’s what they want!
Coogler: Man, what streets, bro? What’re you talking about, bro?!
Perine: I said everyone, so yeah!
Coogler: Bro, I ain’t heard nothing about that man, I’m trying to finish this one!
Will Avengers: Secret Wars Director Be An MCU Veteran or Newcomer?
While the preceding crossover film, Avengers: The Kang Dynasty, has found its director with Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings’ Destin Daniel Cretton, Avengers: Secret Wars has yet to find its director, leading to speculation on who would be the best choice to helm the film. While new directors can help provide a fresh take on the MCU, many believe it would be best for Marvel Studios to recruit a director familiar with the franchise, and big-budget filmmaking, to oversee crossover features, as previously seen with Cretton and both Joe and Anthony Russo’s hiring for Avengers: Infinity War and Avengers: Endgame, following their work on the Captain America series. With Coogler having had a hand in developing Wakanda in the MCU across the Black Panther films, as well as his involvement in such upcoming Disney+ series as Ironheart as part of a five-year deal with Disney, many feel Coogler’s experience makes him an ideal candidate to handle the potential conclusion of the Multiverse Saga.
With Avengers: Secret Wars having to handle the incredible responsibility of concluding The Multiverse Saga, a story that has been developed across 36 currently confirmed MCU projects, it is understandable why many viewers are concerned about who may take on directing duties. And, with Coogler’s already-established successes with Black Panther and Black Panther: Wakanda Forever, alongside future involvement in the MCU, the director has the experience with the franchise to handle such a task. But, with the sequel yet to make its debut, and Coogler still producing Ironheart and set to develop a Disney+ series focused on Wakanda, the director may be focused on working on closer projects before even considering joining Avengers: Secret Wars writer Michael Waldron on Phase 6’s concluding chapter.