Black Panther Director Ryan Coogler Wrongly Detained By Police Who Mistook Him For Bank Robber

The Oscar nominee said the "situation should never have happened", but insisted he has "moved on" from the incident.
Ryan Coogler pictured in 2019
Ryan Coogler pictured in 2019
Kevin Winter via Getty Images

Oscar-nominated filmmaker Ryan Coogler has confirmed he was wrongly detained by the police in Atlanta earlier this year, after they mistook him for a bank robber.

The Black Panther director has been working in Atlanta where production on the Marvel sequel is currently taking place, and told Variety the incident occurred at a branch of Bank Of America in January.

“This situation should never have happened,” he told the media outlet. “However, Bank of America worked with me and addressed it to my satisfaction and we have moved on.”

The incident was first reported by TMZ on Wednesday. According to both outlets, the director visited the bank in January of this year, wearing a hat, sunglasses and a Covid face mask.

While there, he handed the bank teller a note requesting she “discreetly” withdraw $12,000 from his bank account.

However, when the amount he requested “triggered an alarm” on the bank’s system, the teller mistook him for a robber, and after checking with her boss, they then contacted the police.

Bank Of America said in a statement: “We deeply regret that this incident occurred. It never should have happened and we have apologised to Mr. Coogler.”

Ryan is best known as the director of Creed and Black Panther, but also served as a producer on the 2021 films Judas And The Black Messiah and Space Jam: A New Legacy.

Ryan posing with his wife, Zinzi Evans, and the cast of Black Panther at the 2019 Oscars
Ryan posing with his wife, Zinzi Evans, and the cast of Black Panther at the 2019 Oscars
Frazer Harrison via Getty Images

Production on the Black Panther follow-up Wakanda Forever began in Atlanta last year.

Following the death of lead actor Chadwick Boseman in 2020, it’s been reported that the film’s female characters, played by Lupita Nyong’o, Letitia Wright and Danai Gurira will take a more central role in the sequel.

Also returning for the new film are Angela Bassett, Daniel Kaluuya and Winston Duke, with I May Destroy You star Michaela Coel also joining the cast in an undisclosed role.


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