The 2018 colossus “Black Panther” may not be first Black superhero film to ever be released, but it is indubitably the most successful with more than $1.3 billion in worldwide box office — not to mention three Academy Awards and four more nominations. Many of the film’s already well-known stars have become household names around the world, and word on the showbiz property gossip grapevine is that one of the money-minting epic’s writers, Joe Robert Cole, has celebrated his blockbuster success with the $3.5 million purchase of a secluded home nestled into the hills of the L.A.’s ritzy Bel Air neighborhood.
A long, gated drive sweeps up a precipitous, planted hillside to a stone-paved motor court that comfortably accommodates six or eight cars. Updated with a decidedly contemporary flair, the 1970s two-story traditional sits on about 1.2 acres with five bedrooms and 4.5 renovated bathrooms throughout its not quite 3,100 square feet.
Honey-toned hardwoods add organic warmth to the crisply tailored interiors that include a glass-railed staircase, lots of can lighting in the flat ceilings and generously proportioned windows that frame scenic vistas of the gardens and surrounding mountains. Just off the double-height foyer, a formal living room sports a simple fireplace and the adjoining dining room looks out over the backyard. Bucking the ubiquitous trend of open-plan living space, the kitchen is a thoroughly modern room of its own fitted with sleek, up-to-date appliances and a high-contrast mix of glossy-white and dark-brown wood-grained cabinets. Arranged around a huge island with an integrated snack bar, the kitchen flows out to the backyard through glass sliders, while a neighboring family room, which also spills out to the backyard, easily works as a library or home office with full-height wood shelves.
A service wing completes the main floor, and incorporates a powder room for guests, a spacious laundry room with direct garage access, and a staff or guest suite complete with an itty-bitty lounge (or home office), a bedroom and a bathroom. Upstairs are three average-sized family bedrooms, one with a private bath and another with a small dressing area and direct access to a shared hall bath, plus a primary suite that comprises a roomy bedroom, sleek bathroom and a fitted walk-in closet, plus a separate dressing area lined with custom built-ins.
Out back, a vine-draped pergola shades part of a huge stone-paved terrace amid gorgeous flowering gardens and a pretty koi pond. A grassy, tree-shaded path leads to a manicured lawn notched into the steep hillside. At the far end of the lawn, set against a wall of trees with a cross-canyon view, a small terrace provides the perfect spot for quiet repose.
The rapidly up-and-coming writer-producer earned a 2016 Emmy nomination for his work on the first season of “American Crime Story” (“The People v. O.J. Simpson”), where he was hard at work when tapped to co-write with director Ryan Coogler what became the runaway megahit “Black Panther.” Since then Cole has written and directed the 2020 Netflix film “All Day and a Night.” A sequel to “Black Panther” is planned, but, certainly, the recent, untimely passing of the film’s star, Chadwick Boseman, means adjustments will need to be made.