Everything about Black Panther looks great. The cast, the director, the costumes, the Wakanda design, the entirety of that first trailer – it’s pretty much batting a thousand. Sure, I’m excited for Avengers: Infinity War; but if I’m being honest – I’m really excited for Black Panther. Heck – I can’t stop humming that damn music from the trailer.
At the Comic Con Panel for Black Panther, director Ryan Coogler, Kevin Feige, and the cast (Chadwick Boseman, Michael Jordan, Forrest Whitaker, Andy Serkis, Danai Gurira, and Lupita Nyong’o) previewed exclusive footage from the upcoming Marvel franchise-starter. Below are the bullet-point highlights.
- Per Boseman – The Black Panther has just lost his father – “so he’s just learning how to become a new ruler and what kind of king he wants to be.”
- Coogler says it’s a thrill to be a part of this film. Not too long ago he was at the back of Hall H, watching footage. Black Panther means a lot to Coogler because he was the only comic character that fully represented him on the page.
- Coogler states the best thing about The Black Panther is that “he gets his power from the people around him… from history… from Africa.” The social message/imagery of The Black Panther means a tremendous amount to the filmmaker.
- Jordan on his villainous character, Erik Killmonger – “He has his own opinions on Wakanda and how it should be ruled. He has his eyes on the throne – and so he’ll do whatever he can to make that a reality.”
- Nyong’o reveals her character, Nakia, is a spy, moving from country to country. She keeps an eye on what the rest of the world is up to and makes sure no one is the wiser about Wakanda.
Coogler previews an exclusive scene from Black Panther – a casino stakeout gone wrong. Black Panther/T’Challa and his crew (Okoye & Nakia) look out onto the floor of the casino. They take position around the area. T’Challa takes the ground floor near the bar, while Okoye (Gurira) & Nakia (Nyong’o) circle above on the second floor. They watch as Ulysses Klaue (Serkis) enters the casino to meet with CIA Agent Everett Ross (Martin Freedman). Seems like Everett has some uranium that Ulysses is looking to buy. Everett cracks a joke about Ulysses’ obviously fake plastic right arm. Ulysses is having none of it.
“Did you bring the diamonds?” Ulysses pulls the diamonds out of his crotch flinging them on a table in public. It’s basically a dick-measuring contest between the two alphas. But the aggression and overtly public ‘drug deal’ makes Okoye antsy. She wants to take a shot at Ulysses and stop the deal. T’Challa tries to calm her down. Too late. She starts beating the crap out of Ulysses’ goons. Chaos erupts everywhere. Gunshots. Spears. Wigs flying off. Bodies flung off ledges. A lot of crushed roulette tables. CHAOS. It all climaxes as T’Challa takes on Ulysses himself. It looks like T’Challa has the upper hand when… Ulysses’ fake plastic arm suddenly turns into some mechanical super-laser gun and blasts the shit out of the area, T’Challa barely getting cover before being split in two.
And then we cut to a bunch of different images from throughout the film. The Black Panther flipping over a car, sky diving, in a car chase, pretty much any extracurricular activity you can think of… The clip ends with Black Panther face to face with the film’s chief antagonist, Killmonger.
Killmonger, menacingly, “Must feel good sitting here comfortable.” He then suddenly dons his own Black-Panther esque costume and attacks our hero, sending them both spiraling down into a hole of some kind.
The footage looks great, giving a serious Blaxploitation vibe – gritty camerawork matched with vibrant colors. There’s a chase scene – but the thing that stands out the most isn’t the action, but the bright purple bridge everything happens on. In a word – the footage looks really freaking cool, and the footage got a standing ovation from the crowd. It’s got a totally different vibe than any previous Marvel flick and was the real standout of the Marvel presentation.
Black Panther opens everywhere February 16, 2018.
For all of our SDCC coverage, click here.