Ryan Coogler wrote a thank-you letter to “Black Panther” fans, and it will make you cry

Black Panther has given us so much to be thankful for. There’sthe first black superhero movie of this caliber, the empowering depiction of women, the badass action sequences, the hilarious one-liners from Shuri, the viral videos of theatergoers breaking out dancing at screenings, the box office proof that the movie was just as good as everybody wanted it to be, and, of course, the emotional response from fans. And it seems director Ryan Coogler is feeling thankful, too.

The man behind our new favorite movie shared a heartfelt letter of gratitude Tuesday night, by way of Marvel and Black Panther‘s social channels, thanking fans for embracing the blockbuster, and honestly, there may be some dust in our eyes.

"Deep down we all hoped that people would come to see a film about a fictional country on the continent of Africa, made up of a cast of people of African descent," Coogler wrote. "Never in a million years did we imagine that you all would come out this strong."

Coogler may be surprised by Black Panther‘s incredible success because he’s humble and classy, but considering the director’s cinematic track record (the dude’s now three-for-three on critically acclaimed hits) and just how overdue a movie like this was, we all should have seen this coming. It’s awesome either way. And we suspect the flood of love people are expressing for the movie is just going to keep coming.

“It still humbles me to think that people care enough to spend their money and time watching our film,” Coogler went on to say in his letter. “But to see people of all backgrounds wearing clothing that celebrates their heritage, taking pictures next to our posters with their friends and family, and sometimes dancing in the lobbies of theaters– often moved me and my wife to tears.”

Specifically, Coogler thanked moviegoers, the fans who made the movie the most-tweeted-about film of the year and who showed up at the theater dressed in traditional African clothes, movie critics who gave rave reviews, families who brought their children to see black characters in such powerful roles, and his stellar cast and crew.

We already know how big an impact the game-changer of a movie has made on famous fans like Michelle Obama and average moviegoers alike. We can’t even imagine how much it means to Coogler to see his project, complete with personal nods like the movie’s Oakland scenes, come to life on the big screen. But we’re guessing the lasting effect Black Panther will have on our collective culture will be even more monumental.

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