The recent crop of Marvel movies have all been well-hyped and well-received. But it feels like Black Panther is getting even more hype — this movie isn't like any of the other movies in the current Marvel canon and it's generating a whole new level of excitement. In the cover story for the Comic Con issue of Entertainment Weekly, the movie is described as The Godfather meets 007. Yeah. In the same article, director Ryan Coogler explained his own fascination with the comic books.
"What makes [Black Panther] different from other superheroes, first and foremost, is he doesn’t see himself as a superhero. He sees himself as a politician," Coogler said.
This story is more overtly political than most, especially because the superhero's purpose is rooted in place. T'Challa, the eponymous panther, is the leader of a covert paradise called Wakanda, rich in nutrients and Afro-futuristic. T'Challa's mission, as opposed to the other members of the Avengers, is to protect his homeland.
Chadwick Boseman, who played Jackie Robinson in the 2013 film 42, plays T'Challa, while Lupita Nyong’o plays fellow protector Nakia, and Fruitvale Station's Michael B. Jordan plays Erik Killmonger, and enemy to Wakanda. (The names alone are enough to generate hype. I mean, Lupita? Chadwick? Michael B. Jordan? Not to mention The Walking Dead's Danai Gurira is also in the movie.)
According to Coogler, though, the delineation between "good guy" and "bad guy" in this movie isn't entirely clear. "[It's] lot like politics, it’s a little tricky to define who’s [a good guy],” said Coogler. “The film very much plays with those concepts, looking at conflicts and different motivations, and who’s with who.”
One thing is abundantly clear, though: The women are all badass. "The one thing I will say about all the female characters in this movie is that they are very strong,” the panther himself Chadwick Boseman told EW. “It’s a very matriarchal society."
When the first trailer for the movie dropped in early June, Twitter nearly exploded. With this new cover story, there are 20 new production stills from the movie — and Twitter still can't handle it.
Until February 2018, then. Head on over to Entertainment Weekly to check out all the recently released photos from the movie. Keep checking in, too — the site will publish companion pieces on the highly anticipated movie in the weeks to come.