In the wake of the “Black Panther” teaser trailer release on Friday, EW has posted up a feature piece breaking down a bunch of new information about the film including comments from Marvel Studios chief Kevin Feige and director Ryan Coogler.
First up, the Ulysses Klaue (Andy Serkis) interrogation scene at the start takes place in a safehouse in Korea with T’Challa (Chadwick Boseman) and his security chief Okoye (Danai Gurira) watching. The car flip at the end is also set in Korea.
Wakanda has great resources of vibranium, a unique metal with almost mystical, technological powers which has allowed Wakanda to develop advanced technologies. The ship that we see flying is the ‘Royal Talon Fighter’, the Black Panther’s personal shuttle both flying over the capital city and away from the ‘Warrior Falls’ – the place where kings are coronated.
In that coronation flashback there’s Forest Whitaker’s character Zuri, a shaman and trusted adviser of the king whom Coogler dubs a mentor character with major ties back to T’Challa’s father. Others in the scene include the leaders of the tribes of Wakanda who do not always unite.
There’s also kids participating in a ritual which deals with a creation from a plant. Feige says: “People who read the comics would be familiar with the Heart-Shaped Herb and the ceremonies that surround that. That’s partially spiritual. 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.”
So what is the Heart-Shaped Herb? Coogler says: “It’s how Black Panther achieves his powers. He can fight hand-to-hand with Cap, who’s a super soldier, 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.”
Michael B. Jordan is Erik Killmonger, a Wakandan exile who is the one in the horned mask trying to break Klaue free. Coogler doesn’t want to reveal too much about Killmonger’s background. Klaue, who lost an arm in “Avengers: Age of Ultron,” won’t get a sonic emitter, but rather a piece of advanced Wakandan mining equipment which becomes an arm-cannon.
Letitia Wright’s Princess Shuri character is said to be only a fighter but a brilliant scientist, on par with Iron Man’s Tony Stark. She has spent her life researching and experimenting with Vibranium, the twin blasters she dons in one shot are just one of her many devices.
Isaach De Bankole’s emerald suit and lip plated character is described as the elder of one of the largest tribes in Wakanda. The trailer shot of a man in native outfit yelling is M’Baku (Winston Duke), the ruthless ruler of the Jabari mountain tribe who is also known as Man-Ape in the comics. Another shot confirms Killmonger and M’Baku have a fight at Warrior Falls.
The shot of Black Panther, sans helmet, approaching a crowd is set outside one of Wakanda’s Vibranium mines. The scenes on a landing pad towards the end of the trailer, in which Killmonger faces down an entire squad of Dora Milaje who themselves find other tribes are no longer loyal to their king.
Additionally, Boseman has confirmed on Twitter that he’s begun work on the currently in production “Avengers: Infinity War”. “Black Panther” opens early next year.