Disclaimer: There are spoilers in this article.
The Black Panther first entered the Marvel Cinematic Universe back in 2016 in Captain America: Civil War.
Now he has his own movie, which goes well beyond usual expectations of fantasy, fight scenes and romance.
Having a plot based on a black superhero is a first for Marvel, but the movie is based on this concept in a massive way.
Direct from Creed Ryan Coogler, is set in the mythical country of Coupled: the hidden African kingdom with incredible technological power, thanks to its reserves of the world’s most useful precious metal.
Chadwick Boseman, who plays his king T Challa and (most importantly) the Black Panther, tells the BBC that get Coupled right was the most important thing.
“This is fantasy and we must create a culture,” he says. “Not necessarily, because it is the first time we are seeing a black superhero; I think it’s because we have to define what Coupled.
“It can’t be some generalized version of what the country is or the accent.
“It can’t be generalized where not to wear a certain type of clothing or because we have the number of tribes that we have – what are those tribes?
“We have a river tribe, and the tribe of the border, for example.”
This is echoed by her co-star Lupita nyong’o, who plays Temy, in the movie – his love interest and moral compass rolled into one.
The Oscar-winning actress, tells the BBC: “We are in Africa and we meet a new nation which the world has never been, and offers the sensation as another part of the world.
“This is a nation that is highly developed, and are so why not get interrupted by or assaulted by colonialism.”
Boseman says that he and Coogler were interested in how the Black Panther character would deal with the conflict in the film, as his life is essentially well protected.
“He has superpowers, has a suit that’s bulletproof and some of the nearly unstoppable soldiers around him,” says the 41-year-old actor.
“In a country where the people do not know about the existence in this way, so that nobody can get to him. We were trying to figure out what would make it real.”
This is the essence of the film – the struggles with the dilemmas of a man who is ignorant of the suffering the rest of the world must deal with.
It is a head with the introduction of the villain, Erik Killmonger, played by Michael B Jordan.
Half American, half Wakandan, Erik arrives in the kingdom on a mission to help the oppressed Africans suffer from all over the world after having experienced first-hand.
“The topics of all the characters in this film are so compelling, so well-thought-out, and that is what creates a unique tension,” says nyong’o, star of 12 Years a Slave.
“The fact that in this film you meet a naughty and see where it comes from, is so empathetic, it will hopefully spark a really robust debate in the real world.”
Nyong’o hopes that the film is not only “leads people to experience something of the mythological and folklore”, but also allows them to reflect on some of the really deep and important issues.”
His co-star Danai Gurira – who plays Coupled military commander Okoye – says the film also addresses the importance of having well-rounded female characters, while only the “strong” women.
It comes in a moment of inspiration female superhero movies are thin on the ground.
Marvel rival DC Comics, could have brought out the Wonder Woman in the past year, but the former female-led Captain Marvel, the film is not due for release until 2019.
There was also criticism of Marvel’s Iron Man 3 in 2016, after having rejected the idea of having the actress Rebecca Hall to play a villain.
Instead of being brought up in a male villain, played by Guy Pearce, and reduced the Lobby’s role a lot less important.
Gurira says, “strong is definitely great, but it’s a component – we want a more complete picture.
“His [having] a more complex and coherent narrative around the female contribution to history.”
Gurira, best known for playing Michonne in The Walking Dead, says that when she writes, she plays, she wants to write characters “where the actor gets a full-time job when you enter a role.”
“It is to be fully human, and to be one of the parties involved in a narrative. It is to be allowed to be complex, to have dimensions, and interpret a character,” says the author, Eclipsed (2009).
Nyong’o says that the part of the Black Panther meaning comes from the way in which you show how the harmonious development world, Coupled allows its ‘citizens to realise their full potential”.
“You see, women alongside the men sitting in their power and different for the future of their nation in an exemplary way,” he continues.
Black panther is in the UNITED kingdom, on the 13th of February.
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