LOS ANGELES, April 16 (Reuters) - "Black Panther" director
Ryan Coogler said on Friday he would shoot the hit movie's
sequel in Georgia as planned, despite his opposition to
restrictions on voting rights in the state that have prompted
calls by some for a boycott.
Coogler said in a guest column for Hollywood trade website
Deadline.com that pulling out of Georgia to make the sequel
would adversely affect the lives of people involved in making
"For those reasons I will not be engaging in a boycott of
Georgia," Coogler wrote. "Our film is staying in Georgia.
Additionally, I have made a personal commitment to raise
awareness about ways to help overturn this harmful bill."
"Black Panther," the first superhero movie with a
predominantly Black cast, made more than $1.3 billion at the
global box office. Starring the late Chadwick Boseman, the Walt
Disney Co film was the highest-grossing movie in North
America in 2018.
Coogler announced his decision two days after more than 100
companies, and Hollywood stars including George Clooney and
director J.J. Abrams, declared their opposition to voting curbs
in Georgia and other states.
Civil rights groups and others say the measures unfairly
target Black and ethnic groups.
Actor Will Smith and director Antoine Fuqua said this week
they would move production on their runaway slave thriller
"Emancipation" out of Georgia, which has become a major
production hub for Hollywood.
Coogler on Friday wrote that he was "profoundly
disappointed" at the passing of the bill in Georgia in March but
had decided to educate himself before making a decision about
filming the sequel there.
"Having now spoken with voting rights activists in the
state, I have come to understand that many of the people
employed by my film, including all the local vendors and
businesses we engage, are the very same people who will bear the
brunt of SB202," he said, referring to the name of the bill.
(Reporting by Jill Serjeant
Editing by Marguerita Choy)