"Black Panther" director Ryan Coogler may not be a household name yet, but as Marvel Studios' youngest filmmaker he's already being linked to Hollywood's biggest power players.
In 2013, he gained attention and acclaim at the Sundance Film Festival with the release of his debut film "Fruitvale Station." Now, just five years later, the 31-year-old is being hailed by IndieWire as a next-generation Steven Spielberg after the success of "Black Panther," his third film, which brought in a record-breaking $235 million during its opening weekend.
His relationship with the film's storyline dates back to his childhood in Oakland, California. He tells NPR that as a kid he often hung out at a comic book shop near his school where he was handed his first copy of "Black Panther" after inquiring about comic books with black people.
At the time, Coogler had no idea that filmmaking would one day be his calling. He explains to Filmmaker Magazine that up until college he had aspirations to play football and become a doctor.