Marvel's Black Panther is taking inspiration from two of the most famous movie properties of all time. One of the criticisms that the Marvel Cinematic Universe had when it was starting out was that the Avengers lacked cultural diversity during Phase 1. Avengers: Age of Ultron created a far more diverse team by changing the roster quite a bit. Heroes like the Falcon and War Machine were added as Iron Man and the Hulk left the team - but even up to now, all the solo films have yet to be led any characters of color. That will all change next February.
When Captain America: Civil War was announced during the Phase 3 keynote, Marvel Studios president Kevin Feige not only revealed that Chadwick Boseman would debut as Black Panther in that film but that he would also star in his own solo film. We know that the story of Black Panther will center around Boseman's character T'Challa, who became the king of the fictional African country of Wakanda after his father was killed in Civil War. Wakanda is an isolationist country that has long protected its most valuable asset, aka. Vibranium - the same material that Captain America's shield is made of and what Ultron was after in Age of Ultron. Exploiting Vibranium, Wakanda has create advanced weapons, vehicles, and medicines making it secretly the most technologically-advanced nation in the Marvel world.
Like all Marvel Studios films, Black Panther takes its influences from other genres and classic films. Producer Nate Moore has revealed what films they looked at for inspiration. Here's what he told Entertainment Weekly:
What I think we landed on was sort of a cross between James Bond and The Godfather. A big, operatic family drama centered on a world of international espionage. So hopefully we’re getting the best of both worlds.
That description fits the Black Panther trailer released back in June. It teased some 007-like, world-hopping action in the form of a chase in South Korea, while also mainly focusing in on T'Challa's role as the leader of Wakanda. While the trailer and Moore's comments seems to give us a good idea about what the film will be like, Feige told EW that audiences aren't prepared for what the film will deliver:
I don’t think people are prepared for what this movie is going to be. Not just Black Panther, but the Dora Milaje, and Killmonger, and the entire design of Wakanda – both its traditional African-inspired elements, but also the Vibranium inspired techno-elements. I can’t think of a blend that has happened like that before in movies.
Once again going back to the trailer, audiences might be familiar with technology like Black Panther's royal jet, which is not dissimilar from the S.H.I.E.L.D. quinjets. However, in just a few short glimpses it is clear that director Ryan Coogler has crafted a very unique looking and colorful country and a stark contrast to pretty much every Marvel film setting, so far.
With Marvel poised to run a 90 minute panel at San Diego Comic-Con this year, we can expect them to reveal more about Black Panther and other Marvel films. What remains to be seen is whether those sneak peeks will also be released onto the world wide web or remain Comic-Con exclusives for now. There has been a move to release footage from the convention during the panel, so odds are pretty decent we'll see even more from this unique Marvel film in the near future.
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