In order to craft a cohesive version of Wakanda, the teams behind Black Panther and Avengers: Infinity War worked side by side. We’re just weeks away from the start of Marvel’s massive 2018, with Black Panther projected to hit $400 million domestically when all is said and down. Ticket pre-sales have been through the roof and social media buzz and early reactions have been overwhelmingly positive. But no matter how well the film does, it’s a safe bet that the epic team-up that is Infinity War will be the Marvel Cinematic Universe’s biggest earner yet.
Aside from what are sure to be huge openings for both films, Black Panther and Avengers: Infinity War will also share some characters and locations in common. Chief among them will be T’Challa and Wakanda, who will both play crucial roles when Thanos comes to Earth. Like in the comic Infinity War is based upon, Thanos’ Black Order will head to Wakanda for one front of their invasion. And with the kingdom and its citizens serving as a major part of Infinity War, the film’s writers and directors were careful to collaborate closely with the Black Panther team on bringing it to life.
io9 spoke with Black Panther director Ryan Coogler about what it was like shooting his film while its lead character and central location were also being used down the road for Avengers: Infinity War. According to Coogler, the effort required a great deal of communication and coordination to ensure that Infinity War‘s version of Wakanda aligns with Black Panther‘s representation of T’Challa’s homeland:
“So what [Infinity War directors the Russo Brothers] would do is, they would send their production design team and their VFX team to come spend time with me and our production design and VFX team. And they would ask questions. Even with their writers [Christopher Markus and Stephen McFeely], as they were writing, they were thinking about, ‘What scene does this?’ ‘What kind of things in the Wakanda that you are building have these things?’ ‘Where would this kind of thing happen?’ So as we were really fleshing out Wakanda, we would tell them all about it so that their ideas could track. [The Infinity War team] would spend time with our actors when they could, just so they could get ready to do what they need to do in their film.”
The writers and directors behind the various MCU films have often collaborated to ensure consistency across the different films, but the case of Wakanda in Black Panther and Avengers: Infinity War is especially important. While MCU movie costumes and characterizations need to remain in sync, making sure Wakanda looks and acts the same in different films is an even bigger task, considering its size and scope. What’s more, the two films will be released only months apart, meaning any discrepancies will stand out more for it.
Despite the proximity of the two movies in terms of release dates, Black Panther won’t directly set up Infinity War, despite the natural shared throughlines between the two films and all other MCU movies. That is to say: Black Panther will be telling its own self-contained story, but keeping an eye on Avengers: Infinity War along the way.
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