Which franchise is more intense: Marvel or Star Wars? In Lupita Nyong'o's opinion, it's got to be Marvel.
The pressure on the cast and crew of Black Panther is pretty intense. Chadwick Boseman won fans over as the titular hero in Captain America: Civil War, offering the perfect blend of regal self-assurance and human emotion. Since then, every eye was fixed on the cast and crew announcements for Black Panther. The #BlackPantherSoLit hashtag has been trending on Twitter with every hiring, and was reignited by the trailer drop. This film promises to be Marvel's most diverse to date, and boasts a top-quality cast.
Speaking to Screen Rant when we visited the set, Award-winning actress Lupita Nyong'o admitted that the cast and crew were all too aware of the public interest.
"Yeah, it was intense, #BlackPantherSoLit, and it continues to be so with every announcement of who's joined the cast and everything. It's been a lot of pressure on us."
An Oscar-winner for her turn in 12 Years A Slave, Nyong'o is no stranger to the blockbuster arena, having previously appeared in the Star Wars sequel trilogy. Asked about which was more intense, she simply answered, "This."
That's a pretty staggering statement. Nyong'o plays the part of Maz Kanata, one of the secondary characters in the Sequel Trilogy. That means she was part of The Force Awakens, which relaunched the Star Wars franchise in 2015. It's impossible to overstate how excited fans were over The Force Awakens; the film would ultimately gross over $2 million worldwide.
And yet, in Nyong'o's view, Black Panther is even more intense. There's always pressure on a Marvel film; every set photo is scrutinized by fans, and every quote is analyzed relentlessly for plot hints. That's even more the case with Black Panther, which fans and critics alike will be a game-changer for the MCU. So far, the MCU has explored American-based heroes and their stories, with most black superheroes typically the sidekicks. That's about to change; T'Challa is an African hero, he's starring in his own solo film, and the bulk of the action is set in his fictional African homeland.
Even more importantly, Black Panther's secondary cast include a whole range of female characters. They're not reduced to "damsels in distress;" instead, they're strong, confident warriors in their own right. Indeed, Nyong'o's Nakia is expected to be a force to be reckoned with.
For more from our set visit, keep it with Screen Rant.
- Black Panther (2018) release date: Feb 16, 2018
- Avengers: Infinity War / The Avengers 3 (2018) release date: Apr 27, 2018
- Ant-Man & The Wasp (2018) release date: Jul 06, 2018
- Captain Marvel (2019) release date: Mar 08, 2019
- Spider-Man: Far From Home (2019) release date: Jul 02, 2019
- The Avengers 4 / Avengers: Endgame (2019) release date: Apr 26, 2019