It’s a very Merry Christmas indeed. Marvel Studios has dropped a brand new Black Panther TV spot just in time for the holidays, offering another look at the highly anticipated new film from Creed and Fruitvale Station director Ryan Coogler. The film follows the events of Captain America: Civil War and follows Chadwick Boseman’s T’Challa back home to Wakanda, where a power struggle unfolds in the wake of his father’s death. Andy Serkis’ Ulysses Klaue serves as an outside antagonist here, but it looks as though Michael B. Jordan’s Erik Killmonger will be the main “villain”, playing a character who thinks he deserves to ascend to the throne instead of T’Challa.
This movie continues to look absolutely incredible, and there are a few new shots in this trailer that are downright gorgeous. One of the major knocks against Marvel movies is that they seem to look flat and same-y, but when I spoke to cinematographer Rachel Morrison earlier this year—who Coogler fought to have as his DP on Black Panther after their work together on Fruitvale—she outlined how she was trying to make Black Panther look distinct:
“If there’s anything consistent about my work it’s not flat. The criticism of Marvel movies whether it’s in the cinematography or in the Digital Intermediate is that they’re very flat, they sort of lack a lot of contrast and some saturation. That certainly isn’t true of my work from the outset, so hopefully the look we’re presenting will hold through to the end. But I think in making something so big, if you take for example an exterior day scene that’s shot over 15, 20 days you’re not gonna have all sunny days so what happens at the end of shooting when it’s half sun and half cloud. The natural tendency is to lean into something in the middle, to kind of flatten out the contrast on the sunny day and maybe try to bump up the contrast on the cloudy day and find somewhere to meet in the middle. That was my biggest concern going in was that we don’t allow that to happen, so we would throw hard light at people on cloudy days just to kind of increase the contrast.”