Coming out of Captain America: Civil War, one of the most talked about characters was T'Challa aka Black Panther, played by Chadwick Boseman. His regal demeanor and unique fighting style made audiences eager to see more from him, and luckily the wait is not that far away anymore. Black Panther will kick off 2018 for Marvel Studios and be the direct lead in to Avengers: Infinity War.
With Ryan Coogler (Creed, Fruitvale Station) on board to direct, Marvel has once again found capable hands to lead their new franchise. While Coogler will have a big say on what is included, he has received help from screenwriter Joe Robert Cole, who is excited to bring more of Wakanda onto the big screen.
In a recent interview with /Film, Cole was asked about the direction Black Panther will take. After a recent rough synopsis given by Lupita Nyong'o points to a power struggle within the nation of Wakanda, Cole seemingly echoes these story details while expanding on the direct impact it not only has on Wakanda, but also the rest of the MCU:
"Our standalone movie will begin shortly after Civil War ends. So we’ll be able to see him mourning and him starting to take command as king of his own nation. Lots of things are going to occur within regards to that. The country will be under threat from inside and out so we’ll learn what Wakanda is, that nation, as the most technologically advanced nation on the planet. Also, as Wakanda’s rise to prominence happens, it will affect the MCU moving forward which is really exciting."
As these threats challenge the newfound reign of T'Challa, the movie will likely spend a vast majority of the time in Wakanda itself. So far, Wakanda has mostly been hidden from not only our eyes but also the MCU in general. However, we did get a brief glimpse of what is to come in the mid-credit scene for Captain America: Civil War. With Wakanda clearly being a fictional country, albeit one based in Africa, the challenge then becomes adapting the history to the big screen while maintaining the authenticity to not only the comics, but also Africa itself. According to Cole, they plan on keeping their take on Wakanda grounded:
"Africa is such a huge nation. There are so many countries, each of them with different histories, mythologies, and cultures but what we tried to do was hone in on some of the history, some of the cultural influences and then extrapolate out in our technology, extrapolate out in how we see Wakanda and the different parts of the country and the culture of the country as well. So we wanted to root it in reality first and then build out from there, so we’d feel pretty authentic and grounded."
Marvel has so far done a fairly good job at transferring the worlds seen in the comics to the big screen, but Wakanda will be their biggest test yet. With the project being looked over by Kevin Feige, in addition to Coogler, Cole, and others, this should not be a problem for the film. Black Panther is rumored to film on location in parts of Africa which would help add a sense of believability to the final product.
That being said, many fans of the character have waited their whole lives to not only see Black Panther in a movie, but also Wakanda. Marvel has taken their time with the property to this point and has assembled a talented group around the project, now it is up to them to deliver. Viewers are already onboard with Boseman as the King of Wakanda, but now they must also buy into his kingdom.
Doctor Strange opens on November 4, 2016; followed by Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 – May 5, 2017; Spider-Man: Homecoming – July 7, 2017; Thor: Ragnarok – November 3, 2017; Black Panther – February 16, 2018; Avengers: Infinity War – May 4, 2018; Ant-Man and the Wasp – July 6, 2018; Captain Marvel– March 8, 2019; Untitled Avengers – May 3, 2019; and as-yet untitled Marvel movies on July 12, 2019, and on May 1, July 10, and November 6 in 2020.
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