Marvel's Black Panther Director Arrested for Mistaken Bank Robbery

By Sam Hargrave Updated:
Black Panther, Ryan Coogler

Following Black Panther's critical and box office success, the highly-anticipated sequel, Wakanda Forever, is currently in production in Atlanta for a November 2022 release. Director Ryan Coogler is back in the driver's seat with much of the main cast returning for the follow-up. Although, it will sadly be without original lead T'Challa due to Chadwick Boseman's tragic passing in 2020.

The sequel, which will reportedly see Letitia Wright's Shuri step into the starring spotlight, has endured numerous production difficulties since starting filming in June 2021. Even while shooting, the screenplay was reportedly still undergoing changes due to Boseman's passing, and that was only the beginning of the struggles for the cast and crew.

Since production began, Letitia Wright suffered a significant injury causing filming delays, there has been a viral controversy surrounding the actress and her on-set conduct, and filming had to pause for almost two months.

Fortunately, Wakanda Forever has an excellent director in place to steer the ship in the Oscar-nominated Black Panther and Creed director Ryan Coogler. But as production continues, the filmmaker himself even suffered an unfortunate experience during a recent bank visit.

Black Panther Director Mistaken for Bank Robber

TMZ recently obtained an Atlanta PD report revealing Black Panther director Ryan Coogler was mistaken as a bank robber by staff in January 2022.

According to the report, Coogler made a visit to Bank of America to make a completely legal transaction, but he was mistakenly believed by the teller to be staging a robbery, and police were called to the scene.

Commenting on the unfortunate situation, Coogler said it "should never have happened" but the bank has since "worked with [him] and addressed it to [his] satisfaction:"

"This situation should never have happened. However, Bank of America worked with me and addressed it to my satisfaction and we have moved on."

The famous director entered the bank wearing shades and a COVID-19 face mask and handed the teller a note asking to "withdraw $12,000 cash" from his account but wanted to be "discreet." The note read in full:

"I would like to withdraw $12,000 cash from my checking account. Please do the money count somewhere else. I'd like to be discreet."

The teller believed this to be suspicious and called the police. On the arrival of two officers, they detained two people waiting outside for Coogler in an SUV before going in to handcuff the director and take him outside.

After investigating, the police determined the arrest to be a mistake and placed the blame on the Bank of America employee, who was described as a pregnant Black woman.

The report claims an alert flagged up on the computer upon making the transaction, following which the teller told her boss that Coogler was staging a robbery and the police were called.

An Unfortunate Day for Ryan Coogler

Based on the description of events, it appears the bank teller was suspicious of Coogler's desire to be discrete and decision to communicate via a note, thus leading to her calling the police. But for a famous face like the Black Panther director who was withdrawing such a large sum of money, it isn't surprising he wouldn't want to draw attention to himself.

The report noted that Coogler took the identifying badge numbers of each of the arresting officers, indicating he intends to file a report regarding his unsubstantiated detainment. But it sounds as if the director has made amends with his bank and is happy with how they have addressed the situation, although it's unclear what that entailed. 

With the unfortunate situation behind him, Coogler will no doubt be eager to get back to work on Wakanda Forever as it moves ever closer to its November release. Persistent difficulties have made the highly-anticipated sequel one of Marvel Studios' most troubled productions to date, leading many to believe it may suffer one last delay.

The studio currently appears committed to the fall 2022 release, but with the MCU's first two 2023 films having already wrapped filming, some believe The Marvels or Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania may take its place.

Only time will tell what the future holds for Black Panther: Wakanda Forever, which is currently set to hit theaters on November 11, 2022.

- In This Article: Black Panther: Wakanda Forever
Release Date
November 11, 2022
- About The Author: Sam Hargrave
Sam Hargrave is the Associate Editor at The Direct. He joined the team as a gaming writer in 2020 before later expanding into writing for all areas of The Direct and taking on further responsibilities such as editorial tasks and image creation.