It’s almost time for Black Panther, which will be the very last standalone film in the Marvel Cinematic Universe to be released before Avengers: Infinity War. This movie is also significant for being the first-ever standalone superhero movie headlined by an African character, a historical significance for cinema that is comparable to 2016’s Wonder Woman – the first-ever standalone superhero movie headlined by a female character.
Expectations for this project are very high, to say the least. According to Fandango, Black Panther sold more advance tickets within its first 24 hours than any other movie in the MCU, outpacing the pre-sales performance of Captain America: Civil War.
Actor Chadwick Boseman will be reprising his Civil War role as T’Challa, King of Wakanda, and the Black Panther himself. Surrounding him are Lupita Nyong’o (Nakia), Danai Gurira (Okoye), Daniel Kaluuya (W’Kabi), Angela Bassett (Ramonda), and Forest Whitaker (Zuri). Other characters include Michael B. Jordan (Erik Killmonger), Martin Freeman (Everett K. Ross), and Andy Serkis (Klaw). Ryan Coogler, best known for his work in Fruitvale Station and Creed, has written and directed Black Panther, and it was shot by the first-ever woman nominated for Best Cinematography at the Oscars, Rachel Morrison.
This is Black Panther: 16 Behind-The-Scenes Pictures Every Marvel Fan NEEDS To See.
16 ON THE SET
Black Panther started filming in January of 2017, and two months in, Chadwick Boseman shared this picture on set wearing a Muhammad Ali jacket, along with a quote from the athlete himself: “Don’t count the days, make the days count.”
The film’s shoot was concluded in April, totaling three months of filming. The team behind Black Panther benefited from the fact that the movie’s production started after the character was introduced to the Marvel Cinematic Universe in 2016’s Captain America: Civil War, which means that Marvel Studios already had a sense of what audiences liked the most about this live-action adaptation of T’Challa and Wakanda.
Though this was Chadwick Boseman’s second outing as the Black Panther, the actor is already confirmed to star in Avengers: Infinity War and the yet untitled Avengers 4.
15 THOR X BLACK PANTHER LOVE
In this picture shared by Letitia Wright, who plays the 16-year-old Wakandan Princess Shuri, Marvel fans can identify the cast of 2017’s Thor: Ragnarok alongside the cast of 2018’s Black Panther. Marvel Studios boss Kevin Feige and directors Taika Waititi and Ryan Coogler are also in this “Marvel Family Photo” captured by The Hollywood Reporter during the 2017 San Diego Comic-Con.
Black Panther features a variety of celebrated actors, including Academy Award winners Forest Whitaker and Lupita Nyong’o, Academy Award nominees Angela Bassett and Daniel Kaluuya, and critical darlings Chadwick Boseman (who made a splash in 2014’s Get On Up) and Michael B. Jordan (praised for his performances in Fruitvale Station and Creed).
Though they were separate movies within the MCU, the casts of Thor: Ragnarok and Black Panther are poised to meet on-screen in Avengers: Infinity War.
14 ROYAL FAMILY
Another major friendship that sprung out of Black Panther is the one between Chadwick Boseman and Letitia Wright, who play brother and sister in the film. They represent the Wakandan Royal Family – T’Challa the King and Shuri the Princess.
Though Nakia (Lupita Nyong’o) and Okoye (Danai Gurira) will fight alongside T’Challa / Black Panther, Shuri is described as being more interested in developing new technologies for Wakanda, striving to be a different kind of leader of her people. Because of that family connection on screen, Chadwick and Letitia have grown very close behind-the-scenes, and the actor actually refers to her as a “sis.”
Letitia Wright is poised to have a landmark year in 2018, being not only in Black Panther, but also in Ready Player One and Avengers: Infinity War. Three blockbusters in one year!
13 THE SUNKEN PLACE
Co-stars Chadwick Boseman, Lupita Nyong’o, Letitia Wright, and Winston Duke got together and went out to watch Get Out, whose protagonist, Daniel Kaluuya, is also in Black Panther. Needless to say, they loved it like everyone else did, and had to pose for a picture in which they look like they’re in “the sunken place.”
A curious fact is that Letitia Wright and Daniel Kaluuya are actually indirectly co-stars within the Black Mirror series. Daniel was in the show’s very first season back in 2011, in the episode titled “Fifteen Million Merits”, which eventually helped him land his role in Get Out. Letitia, on the other hand, was featured in the series’ most recent season, in 2017, in the episode called “Black Museum”. The two episodes have nothing to do with one another, but hey, it’s technically the same show!
12 STAN LEE
#Repost @therealstanlee ・・・ In 1966 we brought Black Panther to the pages of @marvel ... So happy that this talented young man is now bringing him to life on the silver screen! @chadwickboseman - you have my respect! @handsofrespect #blackpanther #chadwickboseman #marvel #stanlee #avengers #handsofrespect #mcu
There’s a reason Stan Lee is still celebrated by Marvel even after all these years: he created most of these properties we are so fond of.
Black Panther first appeared in a 1966 Fantastic Four comic book that was written by Stan Lee. The hero then went on to have his own comic book series, titled Jungle Action. He preceded other fellow superheroes of African descent who were introduced later on, such as the Falcon (also a Stan Lee creation) and Luke Cage.
It’s a given that Stan Lee will have one of his infamous cameos in Black Panther, and that Chadwick Boseman would take some time to pay homage to the man responsible for creating what turned out to be a very important character to the history of Marvel and comic books in general.
11 SAG AWARDS
A more recent encounter of Black Panther co-stars happened at the 2018 SAG Awards, in which Lupita Nyong’o was a presenter and Daniel Kaluuya was a nominee.
Daniel was nominated for the Outstanding Performance by a Male Actor in a Leading Role award for his work in Get Out. The film as a whole was also nominated for the Outstanding Performance by a Cast in a Motion Picture award. In 2014, Lupita won a SAG Award for Outstanding Performance by a Female Actor in a Supporting Role for her work in 12 Years a Slave.
Tagging along Daniel and Lupita was Black Panther co-star Winston Duke, who is also poised to be featured in Avengers: Infinity War. The actor is best known for his work as a recurring character in the television series Person of Interest.
10 BLACK PANTHER CAKE
As the filming of Black Panther started to wrap up, production became a little looser and celebrations ensued. As it seems, part of those celebrations included a fully-fledged Black Panther cake and smaller sweets branded with the hero’s masked face. In this pictured shared on Instagram, Chadwick Boseman appears to be eating one of those sweets from the trunk of a car.
Though he is eating sweets after being in such a strict diet, Chadwick is making a weird face in the picture as he eats the Black Panther sweets. That’s probably because it must feel weird to be eating what is technically your own face as a piece of food.
Interestingly, Chadwick Boseman is sporting a Legendary Pictures t-shirt, which probably came from the time he worked on 42, a movie produced by Legendary in 2013.
9 CAST CELEBRATION
The crowd and the cast went wild as the first footage of Black Panther was shown at Hall H during the 2017 San Diego Comic-Con. This video captured the perfect moment in which the crowd is roaring with excitement and the co-stars just get up and start celebrating the achievement amongst themselves.
It’s hard to contain the excitement surrounding Black Panther!
Lupita Nyong’o is seen doing a happy dance, high-fiving director Ryan Coogler, and smiling from ear to ear. Letitia Wright then joins her, jumping in place with excitement. Michael B. Jordan runs to hug Kevin Feige and Ryan Coogler. Daniel Kaluuya embraces a teary-eyed Chadwick Boseman, who then joins the cast in exiting Hall H with a face that reads excitement and disbelief.
The crowd never stops roaring, even after the cast is well on its way to leave the panel.
8 GIANT SELFIE
This selfie is the Black Panther version of the famous “Ellen’s Oscar selfie.” A big portion of the film’s cast is in it: Andy Serkis, Forest Whitaker, Michael B. Jordan, Winston Duke, Daniel Kaluuya, Danai Gurira, Lupita Nyong’o, Chadwick Boseman, and Letitia Wright. Also in the shot is director Ryan Coogler, who assembled this wonderful group of actors to bring Black Panther to life.
The image was shared by Lupita Nyong’o while they were in attendance at the 2017 San Diego Comic-Con. It is unclear if the picture was taken before or after the cast and the fans got a first glimpse at the footage from the film, but everyone seems to be excited to be there and happy to be alongside these fellow actors.
7 CHADWICK’S QUEENS
Chadwick Boseman has at least three “queens” in his life: Danai Gurira, Lupita Nyong’o, and Letitia Wright.
It’s noticeable that the Black Panther cast has become very tight and that these co-stars have a lot of love and respect for one another. The kinship between actors in the Marvel Cinematic Universe has always been an evident feature, but it certainly looks like the cast of Black Panther developed even deeper friendships.
Lupita Nyong’o has been rumored as one-third of the 2019 reboot of Charlie’s Angels, and a picture such as this one shared by Chadwick Boseman makes us feel like maybe Danai Gurira and Letitia Wright should just join Lupita in that film and make up the new trio of Angels from here on out.
6 COMING TO AMERICA
Lupita Nyong’o turned 34 last March – right in the middle of shooting Black Panther. To celebrate the occasion, she and her co-stars decided to throw a “Wakandans In Zamunda” birthday bash inspired by the 1988 film Coming To America, an American classic that solidified Eddie Murphy’s career and turned him into a bona fide movie star who would later headline many other projects.
In this particular picture, Chadwick Boseman is dressed in full Reverend Brown costume, a character that was portrayed by Arsenio Hall in Coming To America. Lupita Nyong’o dressed as Lady-in-Waiting, who was brought to life in the film by Sheila Johnson.
The Black Panther co-stars also dressed up as other characters: Danai Gurira went as Imani Izzi, and Daniel Kaluuya impersonated Prince Akeem.
A lot of training goes into portraying a superhero on screen, and it was no different for Chadwick Boseman to come alive as T’Challa. Because this character does not possess any special powers, most of the action in Black Panther will be actual, physical fighting. Though the movie only started to film in January of 2017, the actor was already posting pictures in August of 2016 where he appears to be training for the film.
Chadwick appears to have trained with Marrese Crump, an Atlanta-based self-described “ninja” who teaches the To-Shin Do style of martial arts, which is essentially a modern-day version of ninjutsu. Chadwick and Marrese appear to be training inside a residential garage, which is particularly odd when the production budget of MCU films is taken into consideration.
4 THE VETERANS
The two veteran actors that have joined the Black Panther cast are Forest Whitaker and Angela Bassett.
Forest Whitaker is best known for portraying Idi Amin in 2006’s The Last King of Scotland and Cecil Gaines in The Butler, but the actor is one of the most hard-working people in all of Hollywood, and has recently been featured in a wide variety of films, including Rogue One: A Star Wars Story, Arrival, Taken 3, and Southpaw. On TV, Forest joined the TV show Empire as a recurring character, and has lent his voice to the Star Wars: Rebels animated series.
Angela Bassett is best known for her Academy Award-nominated performance in What’s Love Got To Do With It?, but the actress has been in a wide variety of projects, including American Horror Story, London Has Fallen, ER, and most recently, the Fox cop drama 9-1-1.
3 AT COMIC-CON
The cast of Black Panther has remained very close even after the movie finished production. Though busy schedules can cause friction in how often these co-stars are able to see one another, everyone was contractually obligated to appear in a Marvel panel during the San Diego Comic-Con in July of 2017, which is great news when you’re friends with the people you’ve worked with and miss seeing them in person.
In this particular picture shared by Lupita Nyong’o, the actress is seen alongside Daniel Kaluuya, Letitia Wright, and Danai Gurira. Lupita not only hashtagged Black Panther, but also Thor: Ragnarok, which was the other film from the Marvel Cinematic Universe that was being promoted during that particular SDCC. The actors seem very happy to be together, acting silly to the camera and hugging each other tightly.
2 LUPITA’S BIRTHDAY
Lupita Nyong’o turned 34 on March 1st, 2017, in the middle of filming for Black Panther. In this picture shared by co-star Danai Gurira, the actresses are seen hugging tightly, celebrating Lupita’s birthday with a platter of oysters in front of them.
This is only one of the dozens of pictures where Danai Gurira and Lupita Nyong’o are seen together. They have truly become very close friends since working in Black Panther, and since they hadn’t worked together in any project before this particular movie, it is safe to assume that Marvel is responsible for having created this wonderful friendship.
Danai Gurira was spotted in the Avengers: Infinity War trailer, but oddly enough, Lupita Nyong’o was not. There is no word whether the latter will be present in the Avengers installment.
1 MARTIN FREEMAN, THE DRUMMER
We all know Martin Freeman as Bilbo Baggins in The Hobbit trilogy and Dr. John Watson in Sherlock, but as he entered the Marvel Cinematic Universe to portray Everett K. Ross, it seems like the actor is sharing more of his talents behind-the-scenes. Who knew he was so great with drums?
The shock of Martin Freeman being a good drummer also hit co-star Chadwick Boseman, who shared a video of him arriving on set and finding Martin Freeman casually playing the drums alongside two actual musicians. Chadwick also implied that this was the energy level that the set of Black Panther saw every day: playful, vibrant, and exciting.
It’s very unlikely that the character of Everett K. Ross will be seen on screen playing drums in Wakanda, but good for Martin Freeman for learning the instrument anyway!
What part of Black Panther are you most excited about? Let us know in the comments!