To date, Marvel Studios has kept fairly quite quiet about its “Black Panther” film beyond casting reports.
Over the weekend at San Diego Comic Con though, director Ryan Coogler spoke with Vulture and revealed the comic story arcs that influenced him and his co-screenwriter. Coogler says Ta-Nehisi Coates’ recent best-selling run was a massive inspiration:
“Oh, I love it, man. I mean, [Coates] is my favorite writer right now in the world. Since being turned on to his work, I’m reading everything that he does. His nonfiction work, especially.
But what he’s doing with ‘Panther’ is just incredible. You can really see his background as a poet in some of the dialogue. And what Brian Stelfreeze is doing with the visuals in that book. And some of the questions that it’s asking. It’s just inspiring for [co-screenwriter] Joe Robert Cole and myself.”
Coogler also says he doesn’t see Black Panther as a traditional superhero and so the storyline of the film won’t follow the usual Marvel formula tropes:
“What’s so great about Panther is he’s a superhero who, if you grab him and ask him if he’s a superhero, he’ll tell you, ‘No’. He sees himself as a politician, as a leader in his country. It just so happens that the country is a warrior-based nation where the leaders have to be warriors, as well, so sometimes he has to go fight.
I think starting at that is really so interesting. If you look at that, anything that’s happening in the world right now, or in the world in the past, in the political realm and how people deal with each other, it can be an inspiration.”
The film’s star Chadwick Boseman meanwhile spoke to io9 and says that even back during ‘Civil War,’ they were very aware of giving the character his own arc:
“I think we were very cognizant about making a character that had his own through-line, his own intent and he wasn’t going to waver for anybody else’s story… I think the main thing is just keeping it very clear that he has his own arc and his own things that he wants and desires. He only changes that when something strikes a chord at his core.”
Perhaps the biggest insight though comes from Lupita Nyong’o who gave a very basic description of the story to Collider: “The Black Panther’s leadership is really threatened by two foes who come together, and so Black Panther gets the help of the C.I.A. and the Dora Milaje to try and defeat the enemy.”
“Black Panther” begins production soon ahead of a July 6th 2018 release.