“This situation should never have happened,” laments Ryan Coogler.
It is a painful situation that the director of Black Panther lived a few weeks ago, in Georgia, a state in the south of the United States, where Marvel productions are filmed and in particular Black Panther 2currently in production. Ryan Coogler confirms to Variety being briefly detained by police in Atlanta last January after being mistaken for a bank robber while at a Bank of America branch.
“This situation should never have happened“, laments the filmmaker nominated for the Oscars, after the facts, before tempering: “However, Bank of America worked with me to resolve this misunderstanding to my satisfaction and we moved on.”
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So what happened? Ryan Coogler was arrested and handcuffed after going to this Georgia bank to complete a transaction on January 7, according to the Atlanta police report obtained by Variety. The director wore a hat, sunglasses and a COVID mask. He went to the counter and gave the counter a withdrawal slip with a note written on the back that said: “I would like to withdraw $12,000 in cash from my checking account. Please make the money count elsewhere. I would like to be discreet.”
The cashier misinterpreted the situation and saw it as an attempted robbery, given the astronomical amount requested. It triggered an alert notification on Coogler’s bank account. She then informed her boss that she suspected an attempted robbery and together they called the police. Four Atlanta Police officers arrived on the scene and arrested two of Coogler’s colleagues, who were waiting for him outside the bank in a car with the engine running. They informed the officers who the filmmaker was. They were detained in the back of a police vehicle, while Ryan Coogler was handcuffed and taken out of the bank by two of the officers. After verifying the identity of the director and his Bank of America account, the agents released him and his colleagues.
A Bank of America spokesperson formally apologizes to Variety: “We deeply regret that this incident happened. It should never have happened and we apologized to Mr. Coogler.”
Black Panther: Wakanda Forever will be released in theaters in November 2022.