With the brilliance of the Starks and Bruce Banner, there are some pretty big brains out there in the MCU, but Black Panther's producer claims that T'Challa's 16-year-old sister is even smarter than Tony Stark himself.
As a milestone for both the MCU and superhero movies, the upcoming Black Panther promises to be one of the most racially diverse movies to grace our screens and will finally give the first superhero of African descent who made it into mainstream American comics his own solo movie. Although Chadwick Boseman took to the part in 2016's Captain America: Civil War - and will play a big part in this summers Avengers: Infinity War - Black Panther is time for him to get out his claws and show us what he can do.
However, alongside T'Challa, Erik Killmonger, and M'Baku, it sounds like we should be looking out for our lead's younger sister, the uber-smart Shuri. With Tony Stark even managing to create his own element, it might seem like some wild claims to throw around that Letitia Wright's pint-sized Wakandan would beat him in a battle of intelligence, but producer Nate Moore explained to us during our visit to the Black Panther set in February 2017 that Shuri is one to watch when the film introduces the advanced, secretive nation of Wakanda:
"I think you’ll see all of it. The Golden City is, we think the most amazing city in the world in a way that also feels grounded. What we were very afraid of was making Wakanda almost too Kirby-esque and by that I mean making it feel almost like they’re alien and not human. The truth is they’re human. They’re just 20 or 25 years ahead of us. Having a city built on Vibranium allows them to have all these advances and have wealth beyond our wildest imaginings and that’s a big part of the movie."
"As far as the technologically-advanced side, in our mind, and in our incarnation, Shuri is the head of the Wakanda Design Group. She’s the smartest person in the world, smarter than Tony Stark but she’s a sixteen-year-old girl which we thought was really interesting. Again, black faces in positions of power or positions of technological know-how, that’s a rarity. So it’s something that’s a big part of the film."
As the princess with an innovative mind who designs the new technology for Wakanda, we can put some of the movie's weapon and costume aesthetics down to Shuri's inventions. It is interesting to note that Moore wanted to reiterate that they aren't some outer space beings, but a highly-advanced society that show what we could become in the not too distance future. So, will Shuri be teaching the rest of us a thing or two when she reprises her role for Infinity War and Avengers 4? Given that Wright is officially part of the supersized brawl, it will be interesting to see where she goes after Black Panther.
How/when the best mind of the MCU will meet in Infinity War will be a big talking point, and the trailer has already shown the people of Wakanda joining up with the assembled Avengers and taking on the Mad Titan Thanos. Josh Brolin's brute will presumably be bringing the might of his intergalactic army and the power of the Infinity Stones with him, so could Stark, Banner, and Shuri put their heads together to try and beat him. We've already seen Shuri make good use of her Vibranium gauntlets in the Black Panther teaser, so she can fight and build. Our own Rob Keyes thinks Shuri should take over the Iron Man mantle post-Stark the same way Riri Williams did so in the comics.