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Marvel's Black Panther may have found its writer and director

It's still almost three years away, but Marvel has begun filling some important positions.

Relatively new writer Joe Robert Cole (American Crime Story) is reportedly nearing a deal with the studio to pen the movie, according to The Wrap.

While new, Cole's work isn't unknown to the studio. He allegedly submitted his own proposal for one of the studio's later movies (Inhumans) and was a member of the same in-house writing program at Marvel that produced Guardians of the Galaxy scribe Nicole Perlman.

If chosen, Cole will be the first black writer to lead a team on a Marvel movie since the Cinematic Universe began in 2008 with Iron Man and The Incredible Hulk. It wasn't until Guardians of the Galaxy that the studio started to bring in a more diverse group of writers in general.

The much needed decision to diversify has aided Marvel in its appointments for various upcoming roles, including the directorial spot on Black Panther.

It's been a contentious position to fill ever since Ava DuVernay (Selma) turned down an offer after calling out Marvel executives for their notorious control over director creativity.

Now, however, Variety is reporting that F. Gary Gray (Straight Outta Compton) is taking place in early discussions to direct the movie.

Although, Gray is also in final talks with Universal to helm the eighth Fast and Furious film, which is scheduled to be released on Apr. 17, 2017.

It would be a pretty tight schedule if he decided to do both, and he may end up dropping out of Black Panther talks if he pledges his commitment to Universal.

Black Panther is still in its development stages and won't begin pre-production until both a writer and director are signed on.

It's scheduled to be released on July 6, 2018.