The highlight of the Marvel Cinematic Universe has been seeing such iconic characters and locations from the comics come to life on screen. However, it seems that the comics haven’t been the only influence for the big screen adaptations. Recently Hannah Beachler, the production designer for Black Panther revealed one movie that significantly inspired the look of Wakanda, the original Blade Runner.
The reveal came in response to a fan who asked Hannah Beachler on Twitter if Blade Runner had inspired her, or director Ryan Coogler, in their vision of what Wakanda would look like. Beachler responder that the Ridley Scott film was very much an influencer for her. Specifically, she says that the density of the city, as well as the way that tech was forward thinking, were the primary ways that the film guided her design.
It’s not hard to see the influence. A look at this image of Wakanda from the Black Panther trailer shows a city very much like the version of Los Angeles we see in Blade Runner. The only real difference being that we Los Angeles is in almost perpetual darkness, while Wakanda at least gets some sun.
We certainly see how the density of the city influenced Wakanda as all the buildings, including some pretty impressive skyscrapers, are all very close together. We also have similar modes of transportation as flying vehicles seem to be the method of choice for getting around the city. If the city is this dense, one assumes it has a pretty massive population as well, making the need for verticality, both in the buildings and the transportation, important.
Of course, there’s another movie that also took Blade Runner’s aesthetics as a major influence, the sequel which is hitting theaters on Friday. Blade Runner 2049takes all the technology from the original and advances it by 30 years.
Blade Runner inspired a lot of futuristic looks in popular culture so it’s far from surprising that it influenced Black Panther. The one interesting difference here is that Wakanda is a modern city, simply one that is more technologically advanced than the rest of the world. It’s essentially the future but one that modern people could potentially visit.
We’ll get to see more of Wakanda when Black Panther arrives in theaters in February. Blade Runner 2049 is in theaters on Friday.
New toys for Black Panther further shine the spotlight on Wakanda’s superior technology and upgraded suits for T’Challa (Chadwick Boseman) and Erik Killmonger (Michael B. Jordan). Marvel Studios is continuing to grow the Marvel Cinematic Universe and next year will kick off their slate by bringing some much needed diversity to the screen. Black Panther will take the Captain America: Civil War breakout character out of the familiar world audiences are used to and put him back within his home, Wakanda. Not only will this move give Marvel Studios their first film led by a person of color, it will also give them the first MCU movie directed by a black filmmaker (Creed‘s Ryan Coogler).
While Coogler and Boseman are part of the equation, they will be surrounded by an influx of talent, on and off-screen. The Black Panther cast is arguably the most impressive of any MCU film to date, but fans are also excited to see more of Black Panther and the whole new world that he brings with him. In doing so, Wakanda’s technology will be put on full display and a glimpse at their gear can now be seen in the latest Black Panther toys.
The already-massive cast of Avengers: Infinity War keeps growing by the minute, and another superhero supporting character has been recruited for the cause.
Black Panther actress Letitia Wright confirmed that she will appear in the third Avengers film as Shuri, the younger sister to Chadwick Boseman‘s T’Challa.
Wright confirmed that she will appear in the superhero super-sequel on Twitter, writing “Blessings … super excited to be a part of this,” in a quote-tweet of IMDB’s casting announcement.
Blessings ???????????? super excited to be apart of this. https://t.co/YXhApFndWV
— Letitia Wright (@letitiawright) August 25, 2017
Shuri is a genius inventor and member of the Royal Family of Wakanda who will be introduced in Black Panther. She joins Winston Duke‘s M’Baku and Martin Freeman‘s Everett Ross in making the leap from Black Panther to Infinity War.
Avengers: Infinity War promises to be the superhero showdown of the century. With the members of the Avengers and the Guardians of the Galaxy teaming up to combat the threat of Thanos and his minions, it seems like there wouldn’t be room for much else.
Indeed, the movie’s promise of featuring more than 30 superheroes in one single shot sounds almost like too much as it is. Back in June, when Black Widow actress Scarlett Johansson described this scene, she confirmed there were about 60 Marvel characters in Infinity War alone, and that number just keeps on getting bigger.
The timing of this news is somewhat confusing, as Avengers: Infinity War was reported to have wrapped filming in July, as the cast moved on immediately film Avengers 4. This may just be a late piece of casting news, with Wright having already filmed her part in Infinity War with little fanfare. Though, it may indicate that Wright is actually playing a part in Avengers 4, the production news for which is often confused with Infinity War since it was initally meant to be the second in a two-parter.
The growing ensemble cast includes Robert Downey Jr., Josh Brolin, Mark Ruffalo, Tom Hiddleston, Chris Evans, Chris Hemsworth, Jeremy Renner, Chris Pratt, Elizabeth Olsen, Sebastian Stan, Benedict Cumberbatch, Paul Bettany, Samuel L. Jackson, Cobie Smulders, Benedict Wong, Zoe Saldana, Karen Gillan, Vin Diesel, Dave Bautista, Pom Klementieff, Scarlett Johansson, Tom Holland and Anthony Mackie. Many more of these heroes’ supporting characters are set to appear in the film as well.
One character we can confirm won’t appear is Samuel L. Jackson‘s Nick Fury, who is currently only set to star in Captain Marvel when it come to the upcoming slate of Marvel films.
M’Baku is trouble for Black Panther.
He’s the ruler of the Wakanda’s mountain tribe and has serious issues with how T’Challa is fulfilling his role as the nation’s new king.
But M’Baku was also a potential problem for Black Panther the movie.
That’s because the comic-book version of this villain, who first appeared in Avengers #62 in March 1969, encased himself in white fur and attacked the hero under the moniker “Man-Ape.”
Rather than abandon one of Black Panther’s most famous antagonists, Marvel Studios decided to rescue M’Baku. The character is a hard-bitten, ruthless warrior, but as played by actor Winston Duke (Person of Interest) he also has dignity and strength. Not that this makes him a nice guy.
And in a fictional culture where leaders take on the symbols of native animals (like the panther), his tribe’s affinity for the gorilla is regarded as something noble — not cringeworthy.
Still, the filmmakers felt that “Man-Ape” would never be an easy name for newcomers to accept.
“We don’t call him Man-Ape,” executive producer Nate Moore told EW during our set visit. “We do call him M’Baku.”
The problem was self-evident. “Having a black character dress up as an ape, I think there’s a lot of racial implications that don’t sit well, if done wrong,” said Moore. “But the idea that they worship the gorilla gods is interesting because it’s a movie about the Black Panther who, himself, is a sort of deity in his own right.”
So he’s still adorned with elements of fur on his arms and legs and sports a chest-plate that hints at the animal that is symbolic of his tribe. But he doesn’t wear the full gorilla mask that, in the comics, often made him literally look like that creature.
Director Ryan Coogler and his co-writer Joe Robert Cole (American Crime Story) borrowed some inspiration for the character from Marvel scribe Christopher Priest, who had an acclaimed 1998-2003 run on the Black Panther series.
“You learn that M’Baku is essentially the head of the religious minority in Wakanda and we thought that was interesting,” Moore said. “Wakanda is not a monolithic place. They have a lot of different factions.”
In Priest’s story line, M’Baku was enraged that his White Gorilla cult was outlawed, leading to a clash with the Panther. The character’s exact role in the film is still being kept under wraps, but the filmmakers confirm that M’Baku and his Jabari tribe are, once again, not happy with the young, new ruler (played by Chadwick Boseman).
“A lot of the writers who did some of the most interesting work around the character, they treated Wakanda like a truly African country,” Coogler said. “When you go to countries in Africa, you’ll find several tribes, who speak their own languages, have their own culture, and have distinct food and way of dress. They live amongst each other, and together they make the identity of those countries. That’s something we tried to capture. We wanted it to feel like a country, as opposed to just one city or town.”
M’Baku has a grievance with T’Challa, but he and his followers were equally unsettled by the previous king, T’Challa’s father T’Chaka — who was assassinated in Captain America: Civil War after trying to engage with the world beyond the closed-off, technological paradise of Wakanda.
“In M’Baku’s worldview, T’Chaka made a huge mistake going to the U.N.,” Moore says. “‘We should never engage with the outside world. That’s a terrible mistake. And if his son is anything like his father, I don’t support him being on the throne.’”
He has a better suggestion for king: himself. “Politically, he just has different ideology,” says Moore, who compares the mountain tribe to one of the deadly rival “five families” in The Godfather. “Man-Ape is a problematic character for a lot of reasons, but the idea behind Man-Ape we thought was really fascinating. … It’s a line I think we’re walking, and hopefully walking successfully.”
In addition to the portrait above, we’ve seen only a brief glimpse of Duke as M’Baku in the trailer, holding someone aloft in what looks like a merciless but powerful gesture. (It’s not clear who the captive is, but his garb is similar to the Border Tribe, which protects the secrets of Wakanda from the outside world.)
“In this movie, it’s a little tricky to define who’s a [good guy],” Coogler says. “The film very much plays with those concepts, looking at conflicts and different motivations, and who’s with who. M’Baku is a really interesting character, and I’m excited for people to get to see him.”
Black Panther opens Feb. 16.
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.
The trailer for the film debuted during Game 4 of the NBA Finals on Friday night, as the Golden State Warriors and Cleveland Cavaliers faced off for possibly the final time in the competition.
The footage gives fans the first look at such big stars as Lupita Nyong’o (Nakia) and Michael B. Jordan, as well as, of course, Chadwick Boseman, who plays the titular Black Panther. It also previews a sprawling Wakanada — and the political turmoils inside of the region.
The film follows Boseman’s T’Challa, who was introduced in “Captain America: Civil War” and returns to Wakanda after the death of his father, the king of the nation. “You are a good man with a good heart, and it’s hard for a good man to be a king,” warns a voiceover.
There are still two more Marvel movies hitting theaters this year, but the studio got an early start on promoting its 2018 releases this week by unveiling the first poster for Black Panther.
The poster features star Chadwick Boseman as T’Challa, the new king of the African nation of Wakanda, seated on his kingdom’s throne while clad in his Black Panther costume. Along with releasing the poster image, Marvel announced plans to reveal the first teaser trailer for the film during Game 4 of the NBA Finals on Friday.
Directed by Creed filmmaker Ryan Coogler from a script penned by Coogler and Joe Robert Cole (American Crime Story: The People v. O.J. Simpson), Black Panther has T’Challa returning home to Wakanda after the events of Captain America: Civil War to take his place on the powerful nation’s throne. His return is met with trouble, however, in the form of competing factions challenging his rule and a dangerous enemy from his past. He must prove that he has the wisdom and strength to serve as both the king of Wakanda and its protector, the Black Panther.
Boseman reprises his role from Civil War, along with Florence Kasumba as Ayo, a member of the Wakandan special forces unit known as the Dora Milaje; and Martin Freeman as Everett K. Ross, the deputy task force commander of the Joint Counterterrorism Center.
New additions to Marvel’s cinematic universe making their debut in Black Panther include Michael B. Jordan (Creed) as Erik Killmonger (one of the film’s main villains), Oscar winner Lupita Nyong’o (12 Years a Slave) as Dora Milaje member Nakia, Danai Gurira (The Walking Dead) as Dora Milaje leader Okoye, Angela Bassett (How Stella Got Her Groove Back) as T’Challa’s mother, Forest Whitaker (Rogue One: A Star Wars Story) as a Wakandan statesman, and Andy Serkis (The Lord of the Rings trilogy) as the smuggler Ulysses Klaue.
Black Panther is scheduled to hit theaters February 16, 2018.
Chadwick Boseman revealed the final photo from the set of Black Panther, with production wrapping today. The image features the actor standing alongside Lupita Nyong’o and writer-director Ryan Coogler, along with a previously-unannounced cast member, Sydelle Noel (G.L.O.W.). While the actress had not been revealed as part of the cast before, she also responded to Chadwick Boseman’s tweet, stating that they are “making history,” along with the hashtag #ThatsAWrap. While it remains to be seen who she will play, the production wrap now starts the countdown towards the first trailer, which may be coming in a few months.
While Sydelle Noel’s character has still yet to be confirmed, it’s worth noting that she participated in the Get Out Challenge video from the Black Panther set, with Daniel Kaluuya. It’s possible that she’s playing one of the Dora Miljae warriors, the elite team of all-female bodyguards who protect the king of Wakanda, and are also candidates to become the new Queen as well. It’s possible we may find out who Syndelle Noel is playing during Marvel’s Comic-Con 2017 presentation, since studio president Kevin Feige recently confirmed that the studio will have a presence at SDCC. While he wouldn’t confirm what films will be showcased there, it’s completely possible that the filmmakers can cut together a sneak peek of Black Panther in the next three months, to showcase in Hall H. Especially since they already showed off footage earlier this week at a Marvel open house in Burbank. Chadwick Boseman sent the photo out to his Twitter followers earlier this morning.
Last month, we saw a few action-packed car chase set videos from the South Korea set near Gwangan Beach, which showed Black Panther in full costume hanging onto the roof of a Lexus LC as it speeds down the street. There was no indication if that was a stunt double hanging onto the car, or if it was actually Chadwick Boseman, and no details about who was driving the car was released. It’s possible that Erik Killmonger was driving the car, but that has yet to be confirmed, but it’s possible that it could be the villain.
Black Panther started production in late January, with the full cast list confirming that John Kani, who played T’challa’s father T’chaka in Captain America: Civil War, will return, despite his character being killed in last summer’s blockbuster. No details about his return have been given, but it seems likely that there may be some flashback scenes with T’chaka that illustrate his son’s upbringing in the fictional African country of Wakanda. The cast also includes Michael B. Jordan as the villainous Erik Killmonger, Lupita Nyong’o and Danai Gurira as Dora Miljae warriors Nakia and Okoye, Martin Freeman reprising his Captain America: Civil War role as Everet Ross, Angela Bassett as T’challa’s mother Ramonda, Forest Whitaker as the statesman Zuri, Andy Serkis returning as Ulysses Klaue, Letitia Wright as Serita, who doesn’t appear in the comics, Winston Duke as M’baku, a.k.a. Man-Ape Florence Kasumba as Ayo, another member of the Dora Miljae and Sterling K. Brown as N’Jobu, another character who doesn’t have roots in the comics.
Ryan Coogler, who is coming off the blockbuster Creed, is directing Marvel Studios’ Black Panther from a screenplay he co-wrote with Joe Robert Cole who recently was nominated for an Emmy for his work on The People v. O.J. Simpson: American Crime Story. Marvel has set a February 16, 2018 release date for Black Panther, which puts it up against Warner Bros. comedy Game Night. Take a look at the final set photo from Black Panther.