Joe Robert Cole

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Joe Robert Cole
Born (1980-01-01) January 1, 1980 (age 42)
Alma materUniversity of California, Berkeley
Years active2011–present
Known forThe People v. O. J. Simpson: American Crime Story
Black Panther

Joe Robert Cole (born January 1, 1980) is an American filmmaker and actor. He is best known for his Emmy Award-nominated and Writers Guild of America Award-winning work on the first season of the true crime anthology television series American Crime Story, titled The People v. O. J. Simpson, and for co-writing the film Black Panther and its sequel, Wakanda Forever.

Early life[edit]

Cole, an only child, moved around a lot growing up, which he felt "prepared" him to be a writer, a desire he only discovered during college. He soon applied to the University of California, Berkeley.[1]


During his tenure at the university, Cole entered the film business, working as a writer on the 2006 film ATL, although not receiving a credit.[1] In 2011, he released his first feature film as a director and writer, Amber Lake.

Marvel Studios' program[edit]

After writing a "Chinatown-style cop script", Cole was invited to a meeting with Marvel Studios, where he was told that they had plans of doing a movie about the character War Machine. He pitched a story and was chosen to write the film, but, according to him, "they decided, based on what Iron Man 3 was going to be, they weren't going to do War Machine anymore." Marvel subsequently invited him to join its writers program.[2]

In regards to the program, Cole said:

The way it works—and I'm only speaking for myself here—is they give you an office and a character. You read all the comics with that character, then you come up with a story you see for that character. You present it, get notes and if everything moves along, you're greenlit to write the script.[2]

In 2014, Cole wrote a script for a projected movie about the Inhumans.[3]


In 2016, the television series American Crime Story was released. Cole served as co-producer of the first season, The People v. O. J. Simpson, and wrote two episodes, "The Race Card" (for which he was nominated for a Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Writing for a Limited Series, Movie or a Dramatic Special) and "A Jury in Jail".

Black Panther[edit]

While working on The People v. O. J. Simpson, Cole was approached by Marvel Studios' producer Nate Moore, wanting to know if he was willing to write a film about Black Panther. He immediately accepted. Cole was part of a competition, but was ultimately chosen to write the screenplay with director Ryan Coogler.[2]



Year Title Director Writer Editor Notes Awards
2011 Amber Lake Yes Yes Yes
2014 White Dwarf No No No As an actor Role: Joe
2018 Black Panther No Yes No Nominated–Saturn Award for Best Writing
2020 All Day and a Night Yes Yes No
2022 Black Panther: Wakanda Forever No Yes No
Untitled Snoop Dogg biopic film No Yes No In-development


Year Title Director Producer Writer Actor Notes Awards
2016 The People v. O. J. Simpson: American Crime Story No Yes Yes No Co-producer (10 episodes)
Writer (2 episodes): "The Race Card" and "A Jury in Jail"
Black Reel Award for Outstanding Screenplay in a TV Movie or Limited Series ("The Race Card")
Writers Guild of America Award for Television: Long Form – Adapted
Nominated–Black Reel Award for Outstanding Screenplay in a TV Movie or Limited Series ("A Jury in Jail")
Nominated–Image Award for Outstanding Writing in a Drama Series ("The Race Card")
Nominated–Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Writing for a Limited Series, Movie or a Dramatic Special ("The Race Card")


  1. ^ a b E. Patterson, Brandon (February 6, 2016). "Oscars So White? Black Panther to the Rescue". Mother Jones. Retrieved February 21, 2018.
  2. ^ a b c Charisma, James (February 8, 2018). "'Black Panther' Screenwriter Reveals What Makes T'Challa One of the Most 'Unique' Characters in the MCU". Complex. Retrieved February 21, 2018.
  3. ^ Goldberg, Matt (August 12, 2014). "Exclusive: Marvel Moving Forward on 'The Inhumans' Movie; Screenplay by Joe Robert Cole". Collider. Retrieved February 21, 2018.

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