Wednesday, February 14, 2018

A Reel Preview: Everything You Need to Know About BLACK PANTHER

This week, the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU) releases their 18th film in their series since 2008 in the form of BLACK PANTHER, which may be one of the most anticipated superhero films of all time. In this preview, is everything you need to know about this newest Marvel adventure…

What’s the big deal? – The big deal is that the character of Black Panther is the first African-American superhero to appear in the comics, predating other well-known heroes such as Luke Cage, Falcon, and the DC Comics’ character John Stewart/Green Lantern. Although cinema has brought us black superheroes before in BLADE (1998) and HANCOCK (2008), the Black Panther character pre-dates those, and is the first solo outing for the character in the MCU.

What is this all about? – Picking up after the events of CIVIL WAR (2016), BLACK PANTHER follows T’Challa, who is returning home as the king of Wakanda; a fictional, technologically advanced secret city in East Africa. T’Challa uses his wealth, technology, and skills to moonlight as the Black Panther hero, and he finds himself challenged by a long-time adversary…leading to global consequences.

Who is behind the camera? – BLACK PANTHER is directed by Ryan Coogler, who brought us the magnificent CREED in 2015. His other notable credit is the acclaimed FRUITVILLE STATION in 2013.

Who is in front of the camera? – Chadwick Boseman reprises the role of T’Challa/Black Panther, which he debuted in CIVIL WAR. Boseman is also well-known for his role as Jackie Robinson in 42 (2013). The aforementioned adversary of T’Challa is played by Michael B. Jordan, who is a long-time collaborator with Coogler…having appeared in CREED and FRUITVILLE STATION. Returning Marvel actors include Martin Freeman (CIVIL WAR), and Andy Serkis (AGE OF ULTRON). The rest of the strong cast includes Lupita Nyong’o (12 YEARS A SLAVE), Daniel Kaluuya (GET OUT), Angela Bassett, and Forest Whitaker.

Random Facts – Andy Serkis’ character and T’Challa’s country were introduced in AVENGERS: AGE OF ULTRON in 2015. Wakanda was also mentioned as a location in IRON MAN 2 (2010) * Wakanda is the home of vibranium mines, which is what Captain America’s shield was made out of * The fighting style in the film is based on Africa martial arts * The filmmakers cite BLADE RUNNER (1982) as an inspiration for Wakanda’s design * The February release is the earliest ever for an MCU film * This is the second solo movie for a character introduced in CIVIL WAR. The first was Peter Parker/Spider-man in SPIDER-MAN: HOMECOMING (2017) *

What to expect – Beginning with the creative team behind the camera, Marvel has succeeded time and time again because they always seem to get the right people for the right jobs. The decisions in their directors and actors have been solid. The call to bring Ryan Coogler aboard, a well-established and acclaimed filmmaker, can only be a good thing. Coogler has shown great skill behind the camera and an ability to express his characters very well. In front of the camera, Chadwick Boseman brought chills his first time out as Black Panther in a limited role, and having him in a film full-time is sure to be a treat. Boseman is surrounded by a great cast and he can only thrive on that. All these pieces should add up well, with the sum-total another home-run, and historic hit for Marvel.


BLACK PANTHER arrives February 16th.

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