Marvel is about to kick off the cinematic superhero year in a massive way with Ryan Coogler‘s Black Panther. The highly anticipated feature has been years in the making for the studio, but its arrival is a celebration for fans of the African superhero king who have been following his story since 1966. But whether you’re familiar with the Wakandan native’s numerous adventures or have only just started following the tale, Black Panther promises to be a compelling, action-packed, progressive movie that will be a game-changer for the MCU going forward.
Today, we’re thrilled to share with you a collection of everything we learned about the production during our visit to the set last year. Surprisingly, a lot of this need-to-know information has yet to make its way into the marketing, so there are plenty of riches to be found here. If you’re especially into the look of Black Panther, you’re going to love this deep dive into the film’s production design and incredible costuming. If you’re here for character relationships, we have a breakdown of some of the main players and how they factor into the story. And this is all just the tip of the iceberg since we’ll have more detailed articles arriving in the hours, days, and weeks ahead!
Perhaps the most important thing to know is that Black Panther will arrive in theaters at long last on February 16th. For 89 more things to know about the production, read on:
- Black Panther will pick up where events of Captain America: Civil War left off with T’Challa dealing with his father’s death, what that means for Wakanda, and how to balance his responsibilities as a king and ruler with those of being a superhero in the world at large.
- Not everyone in Wakanda is okay with T’Challa being king and Black Panther; that tension drives a lot of the movie’s plot.
- Producer Nate Moore described Black Panther as part globe-trotting, James Bond-type movie, and part Godfather-type, family focused film.
- Some screen time will be dedicated to showing T’Challa’s life before becoming the Black Panther.
- A big part of the film is dedicated to the Dora Milaje, how they work, and their role in Wakanda. Don’t expect their ceremonial betrothal to the Black Panther to be a part of this movie, however.
- Moore compared the political tone and statement of Black Panther to that of Captain America: The Winter Soldier in how they’re both inherently political without being too preachy or on the nose about it.
- The “comedic” tone of Black Panther is more in line with Winter Soldier than Guardians of the Galaxy or Ant-Man, says Moore.
Moore also described Shuri, the 16-year-old sister of T’Challa who’s head of the Wakanda Design Group, as being “the smartest person in the world, smarter than Tony Stark.” She sort of acts as Q to T’Challa’s James Bond, providing gadgets and know-how to assist in his duties. One of those gadgets is an updated costume.
- Expect to see Wakanda’s wealth and futuristic technology on display in grand fashion.
- Black Panther mythology like the heart-shaped herb and the Panther Gods will make an appearance in the film as well. The contrast between Wakanda’s technological superiority against their ancient ritual practice and religious beliefs will also be explored.
- You can assume that the Winter Soldier is still on ice for this movie.
- Black Panther doesn’t rely on other plot points in the MCU, but what happens in this film will certainly effect the MCU going forward, according to Moore.
- Don’t expect a world-ending villain or threat in Black Panther; instead, it’ll be a more personal enemy with a pointed goal.
- This version of the Black Panther story was inspired by both Christopher Priest and Ta-Nehisi Coates’ comic book runs. Brian Stelfreeze’s artwork also directly inspired the look of Wakanda and the nation’s technology.
The movie will explore the public face of Wakanda and the real truth that’s hidden behind the curtain, as well as how the ability to protect their resources from the rest of the world has allowed them to flourish. Expect to see the different districts and regions within the nation as the intent is to show a lived-in world full of different tribes with different ways of life.
- The movie’s version of the controversial character M’Baku envisions him as the leader of the Jabari people and the religious minority in Wakanda,
- When it comes to action, expect fighting styles, weapons, and vehicles you’ve never seen in an MCU movie before.
- The MCU could have visited Wakanda earlier, as early as Iron Man 2, but the creative team didn’t want to explore the nation and its culture and technology until they had a full idea of what exactly that looked like.