Black Panther is one of the strongest and incredibly popular superheroes in the whole Marvel roster of characters. He is also perhaps the wealthiest of them all as he is the King of Wakanda, a home to world’s strongest and rarest metal Vibranium which powers the infrastructure and weapons of the Kingdom.
He is a brilliant strategist, tactician, and a warrior. His fighting style resembles several animal creatures and incorporates acrobatics. He is also known as ‘King of the Dead’ as the knowledge and powers of all the other previous Black Panthers are transferred to him except when there is a challenge to the throne. He was first introduced into the MCU with Captain America: Civil War where he lost his father at a UN explosion carried out by Winter soldier at the behest of Zemo. It was high time that he gets his own solo movie and he got it.
Black Panther has now been released and we can dive into the nation of Wakanda, the most technologically advanced nation on the entire planet. By the looks of the trailers, this country looked as if it is a third world country or a nation from the future. Nothing about this country is normal. So, why was it never used in any other movies before Black Panther?
From 2008-2016, we only got 3 little mentions of this country. Bruce Banner said the name of Wakanda in Avengers: Age of Ultron, we only saw it marked on a map to know that it exists in the movie Iron Man 2, and we finally got just a little bit of tease of how things look in Wakanda towards the end of Captain America: Civil War and that too in the post-credits scene. Other than these three little mentions, we have had nothing! But why?? Well here’s the answer.
In the latest Interview, one of the producers of Black Panther was asked about this question specifically. Here’s the exact question that was asked in the interview:
“Wakanda itself was first hinted at in Iron Man 2. Obviously it’s a big part of the comics and I know that Marvel has been developing a Black Panther movie for a while. Was there ever any chance that we were going to see Wakanda before this movie or was it always held for this?”
This question was answered very well by Moore, as he gave the exact answer to the ‘why’ we have in our minds. Here’s what he said:
“We talked about it. And the truth was, there was so much to bite off that we didn’t want to waste it. We could have gone there a couple of times before. There were iterations of other scripts where we did go to Wakanda. But we didn’t want to tease it without a full idea of what it was going to be. We didn’t want to start locking into ideas without having a story or a filmmaker who had a full understanding of what the country was. All of those ideas fell to the wayside until we could spend a full movie on it.”
Well, that is absolutely right. Wakanda is a big part of the Marvel comics lore. And if some Director would have shown it in the past, then Ryan Coogler would have had to stick to that vision and explore that. He would not have gotten his creative freedom and we would not have got what supposedly is the best-looking nation in the entire MCU. And if Coogler would have done it in his own way, and it turned out to be different from what we saw before, there would have been irregularities which we would not have liked at all.
For example, we hated it when Wolverine’s origin was teased in X-Men 2, and then certain very noticeable aspects were changed in X-Men Origins: Wolverine which people did not like at all. Recently in Justice League, a lot of Atlantis portion shot by Zack Snyder was cut off because it did not match the vision of James Wan who is making Aquaman. Well now, this is the correct decision and this is how it should be. So, well done Marvel!
Ryan Coogler had hinted that the movie will skip the traditional origin story of Black Panther and focus on the aftermath of T’Challa’s life after he becomes the King. Here is what he said:
“What’s great is that people have already met Chadwick Boseman in Civil War, so now we get to jump in feet first without having to tell a more traditional origin story. We meet him as his world is changing. Black Panther takes place right after the events of Civil War, so T’Challa’s father has just been killed, he has returned home to Wakanda, and T’Challa has to navigate potentially becoming the new ruler of this nation. He never intended to become the king for years because he figured his dad would be around for a long time. T’Chaka’s death is, in a lot of ways, the catalyst for everything that’s happening in Black Panther.”
“In this movie, a lot like politics, it’s a little tricky to define who’s a good guy. The film very much plays with those concepts, looking at conflicts and different motivations, and who’s with who. What makes him different from other superheroes first and foremost is he doesn’t see himself as a superhero. He sees himself as a politician. That’s the first thing on his mind when he wakes up in the morning: ‘How am I going to fulfill my duties as king of this place?'”
Nate Moore was also asked about how Director Coogler was with the movie and how he handled things. Moore had nothing but praises for this amazing director. Here’s what he said:
I think Ryan is a fantastic storyteller, specifically with character. We sort of knew the overall framework of what we wanted the movie to be. What he infused was a really good sense of the complications of being T’Challa and also really building out that supporting cast. One of the things that we love about the property of Black Panther is that there are so many interesting roles around him. Whether it be Ramonda, his mother; his sister, Shuri; Zuri, who is an advisor and a contemporary to T’Chaka’s and sort of a last link to his father. Ryan was really interested in exploring those relationships. Also, I think building out his relationship with the Dora Milaje, this group of all female, sort of Seal Team Six special forces women but making them all characters, making them all individuals rather than, again, this monolithic force of ass-kickers. That would be fun, and we’d always thought that’d be fun, but what we didn’t expect and what he really wanted to explore is the depth of the emotional connections between T’Challa and those individuals.
Chadwick Boseman, the actor who played Black Panther had interesting things to say about the movie and he shared his experiences with media. Here is what he said:
“It’s funny, because on one hand, the Marvel movies that I’ve liked the most are the ones that are funny. I love Ant-Man. But for me, most of the time the darker superhero movies are the ones that I gravitate towards, that I love the most. So I’m glad that I’m not in an Ant-Man. I’m glad that the tone of the movie may be a little grittier. I just wanted to establish that from the beginning, that’s what we were doing. That that’s what I intend to do. I feel like we’ll end up in a place that I’ve always wanted to be when I look at superhero movies. Those are the ones I like the most. It’s exciting to do that.”
The official synopsis released by Marvel Studios is as under:
“After the death of his father, T’Challa returns home to the African nation of Wakanda to take his rightful place as king. When a powerful enemy suddenly reappears, T’Challa’s mettle as king — and as Black Panther — gets tested when he’s drawn into a conflict that puts the fate of Wakanda and the entire world at risk. Faced with treachery and danger, the young king must rally his allies and release the full power of Black Panther to defeat his foes and secure the safety of his people”.
Black Panther looks to be amazing and it is running successfully in theatres.