The next big anticipated film from Marvel Studios is “Black Panther.” The movie picks up the story of T’Challa, who we first met in “Captain America: Civil War,” after the death of his father, the King of Wakanda, returns home to the isolated, technologically advanced African nation to succeed to the throne and take his rightful place as king. But when a powerful old enemy reappears, T’Challa’s mettle as king—and Black Panther—is tested when he is drawn into a formidable 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 and their way of life.
A new set of “Black Panther” character posters was just released for stars Chadwick Boseman, Michael B. Jordan, Lupita Nyong’o, Danai Gurira, Martin Freeman, Daniel Kaluuya, Letitia Wright, Winston Duke, with Angela Bassett, with Forest Whitaker, and Andy Serkis. (click to embiggen, of course)
Love the Wakanda style exhibited in those first 11 posters. You can feel the culture starting to show through.
Speaking of Wakandan vibes, in a must-read interview with CNET, Boseman discussed how the nation of Wakanda evolved and developed and how that led to his take on the accent he would use for T’Challa, a Wakandan ruler. It wouldn’t be a European accent because Wakanda was never conquered by the plague of colonialism that did so much damage on the African continent.
“People think about how race has affected the world. It’s not just in the States. Colonialism is the cousin of slavery. Colonialism in Africa would have it that, in order to be a ruler, his education comes from Europe. I wanted to be completely sure that we didn’t convey that idea because that would be counter to everything that Wakanda is about. It’s supposed to be the most technologically advanced nation on the planet. If it’s supposed to not have been conquered — which means that advancement has happened without colonialism tainting it, poisoning the well of it, without stopping it or disrupting it — then there’s no way he would speak with a European accent.
“If I did that, I would be conveying a white supremacist idea of what being educated is and what being royal or presidential is. Because it’s not just about him running around fighting. He’s the ruler of a nation. And if he’s the ruler of a nation, he has to speak to his people. He has to galvanize his people. And there’s no way I could speak to my people, who have never been conquered by Europeans, with a European voice.”
It’s refreshing to see Bosemen putting so much effort into this character who debuted in Captain America: Civil War. As you watch the trailers for Black Panther it helps to know how much pride Wakandans have for their isolation and independent developed technology. Making sure that how everyone speaks is consistent with that makes the movie’s message even stronger.
Marvel Studios’ “Black Panther” opens in U.S. theaters on February 16, 2018.