The Black Panther home video release comes equipped with plenty of behind-the-scenes content and featurettes that reveal much more about the film, its characters, its story, and how it all came together after being stuck in development hell for 24 years. Considering just how well Black Panther performed - both critically and commercially - it seems that all the time spent developing the movie was well worth it.
While the creative team behind Black Panther managed to deliver a solid superhero movie that was different and fun for audiences at the same time, there's much more to the film that moviegoers might have initially overlooked. Several of the featurettes, as well as audio commentary from director Ryan Coogler and production designer Hannah Beachler, shed some light on the making of Black Panther, including various other details.
Black Panther Prologue Almost Wasn't Included
The history of Wakanda and the Black Panther plays an integral role in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, and it's a lot to introduce to audiences without wasting too much time. So, the filmmakers decided to incorporate a prologue sequence, similar to a movie like The Lord of the Rings, that would cover all the necessary details. But that decision wasn't an immediate one. The Black Panther prologue sequence that introduces Wakanda, the five tribes, and the first Black Panther, Bashenga, almost wasn't included in the film.
The Black Panther Bible Was 515 Pages
In filmmaking (and in television), a bible is essentially a guidebook that a creative team abides by throughout production, which is usually written by the production designer. Considering the Black Panther character's expansive history and the fact that the creative behind the film were establishing a new world in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, Hannah Beachler said she created a bible that was a whopping 515 pages long, but the one Ryan Coogler had in his office was about 300 pages.
Martin Luther King, Jr.'s Daughter 'Blessed' The Film
The vast majority of MCU movies have filmed in Atlanta, GA, over the past few years, with many locales being either rebuilt on sound stages or designed to look like they were filmed elsewhere. For instance, the Oakland sequence in Black Panther was actually filmed in Atlanta, which isn't interesting in and of itself. But what is interesting is that it was filmed across the street from where Martin Luther King, Jr. is buried, and Dr. King's daughter even visited Black Panther's set and "blessed" the project, which Ryan Coogler was very appreciative of.
Every Character In Black Panther Is Color-Coordinated
Color-coordination plays an integral role in the Black Panther movie, from the first scenes in Oakland all the way till the end. Throughout the movie, T'Challa and his father, T'Chaka, are seen wearing black because they are/were the Black Panthers. The same applies to the film's supporting characters; Okoye wears red since she's the general of the Dora Milaje, whereas Nakia wears green due to her connection with the Earth. Then, Killmonger (and his father, N'Jobu) wear blue since that color represents colonization, something that is at the core of their characters' backstories and motivations. Zuri is also seen wearing purple throughout the film, even in the Oakland scene.
Killmonger's Costume Was Partially Inspired By Tupac
One of the many things audiences will notice in Black Panther's Oakland sequence is that all three men in the room are wearing a gold necklace, with N'Jobu wearing a herringbone necklace. That necklace was inspired by Tupac, according to Ryan Coogler, since the famed rapper would wear those quite often in the early 1990s, which coincides with the Oakland scenes taking place in 1992. And because his father wore the herringbone necklace, Killmonger did as well, which can be seen throughout the movie.
Another Black Panther Deleted Scene Revealed
There are four deleted scenes from Black Panther that have been made public, of which all four come with the digital HD and Blu-ray releases, but one extra scene was revealed by Ryan Coogler in the film's audio commentary. While the scene wasn't all too important, it was meant to be a calming scene following a fight sequence. After T'Challa, Okoye, and Nakia defeated all the kidnappers towards the start of the movie, T'Challa then spent time collecting all the gadgets that they used, thereby maintaining Wakanda's secret technology.
The Lion King Reference People Missed
Black Panther is a comic book movie, which means there are dozens (if not hundreds) of easter eggs and references littered throughout - and one of them might have gone unnoticed by most viewers. Right after T'Challa has the Black Panther powers stripped away from him at Warrior Falls, audiences see a black stripe painted across his forehead. According to Ryan Coogler, that was a subtle shout-out to Disney's The Lion King, in which Rafiki makes a strip across Simba's forehead at the beginning of the film.
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