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Published On: Sun, Jun 11th, 2017

Ryan Coogler and Kevin Feige discuss ‘Black Panther’ trailer scenes, spirituality and ties to the comic book

The first Black Panther trailer gave fans a long look at the style and uniqueness that director Ryan Coogler will be bringing to the Marvel Universe.

Two notable moments are Michael B. Jordan‘s villain (and his hair) and the quick shot of Angela Bassett‘s Ramonda, the white-dreaded mother of T’Challa, again played by Chadwick Boseman, after an introduction in Captain America: Civil War.

The opening scene between Andy Serkis‘ Ulysses and Martin Freeman‘s Agent Ross, talking about Wakanda, Black Panther’s homeland, takes place at a secret security station in Korea, where T’Challa, and Danai Gurira‘s Okoye, his security chief, watch on.

Coogler had to say about the scene: “One person knows quite a bit about Wakanda and another person who thinks they do, but they don’t…but I thought it would be awesome to start with a character who has seen Wakanda in its true light.”

Zuri, Forest Whitaker‘s character, appears in a flashback to our hero returning home after his father’s passing to take up his role as the King of Wakanda, and one can glimpse the Warrior’s Falls, the people of Wakanda and Coogler explains the spiritual nature of Black Panther and the ties to the comic book.

“Spirituality is something that exists in Wakanda in the comics, and it’s something we wanted to have elements of in the film. Forest’s character, more than anything, is a major tie-back to T’Challa’s father. Zuri is someone he looks to for guidance.”

Feige and Coogler also commented on the shots of Wakandan children in the trailer and how their work ties back to Zuri’s spiritual guidance and Vibranium: “People who read the comics would be familiar with the Heart-Shaped Herb and the ceremonies that surround that…That’s partially spiritual,” Feige begins. “We certainly don’t call it magic, but there’s Vibranium that has been interwoven within that soil and that land for thousands of years, so there are other things going on with it.”

Coogler added that “The Heart-Shaped Herb is how Black Panther achieves his powers. He can fight hand-to-hand with Cap, who’s a supersoldier, so he has super strength and heightened instincts that give him his enhanced abilities…The Heart-Shaped Herb is what Black Panthers over the generations would consume, once they earn the title, which gives them their physical edge.”

Jordan’s Erik Killmonger, the man in the weird mask and also a Wakandan exile looking to take back his homeland by force. There’s also M’Baku, played by Winston Duke, the leader of the mountain tribe, who originally went by the name “Man Ape” in the comics, where he was one of T’Challa’s most notorious foes.

The film is directed by Coogler and produced by Feige with Louis D’Esposito, Victoria Alonso, Nate Moore, Jeffrey Chernov and Stan Lee serving as executive producers. Ryan Coogler & Joe Robert Cole wrote the screenplay.

Black Panther opens in theaters on February 16, 2018.

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