film directors

‘Black Panther’ director Ryan Coogler detained after being mistaken for bank robber
‘Black Panther’ director Ryan Coogler detained after being mistaken for bank robber


Coogler – who was in a face mask and sunglasses – was detained by Atlanta police after the bank teller thought he was committing a robbery

MANILA, Philippines – Director of hit Marvel superhero film Black Panther Ryan Coogler was mistaken for a bank robber after trying to withdraw a substantial amount of money from the Bank of America in January, according to a Variety report. Coogler confirmed the incident, saying that “this situation should never have happened.”

In the police report filed on Wednesday, March 9, Coogler – who was wearing a face mask, sunglasses, and a hat at the bank – was briefly detained and handcuffed by Atlanta police after handing a withdrawal slip with a note written on the back to a bank teller to withdraw money. 

“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 note read.

Misinterpreting the note and receiving an alert notification – as it exceeded the amount of transaction to over $10,000 from Coogler’s account – the bank teller then told her boss about her suspicion of an act of robbery. Police were later called after.

Four police officers arrived in the bank and handcuffed Coogler and detained two of his colleagues – who were waiting for him in front of the bank – at the back of the police vehicle.

But the police later on verified Coogler’s account and identity, releasing immediately Coogler and his two colleagues.

According to a New York Times report, Coogler was withdrawing money to pay for a medical assistant who works for his family. Since the cash amount he withdrew was huge, he wanted the transaction to be discreet.  

The Bank of America told Variety that they apologized to Coogler and regret that the incident occurred. Coogler also said that the Bank of America worked with him and “addressed it to [his] satisfaction” and they “have moved on.”

Aside from the 2018 Oscar-winning Black Panther, Ryan Coogler directed other Hollywood films such as Fruitvale Station and Greed, and has been working on Black Panther: Wakanda Forever, which will premiere in November 2022. – with reports from Edmar Delos Santos/

Edmar Delos Santos is a Rappler intern under the Life & Style and Entertainment section.