After making an impressive debut in Captain America: Civil War, Chadwick Boseman returns as T’Challa/Black Panther, king and ultimate vanguard of Wakanda, now in his own film. Black Panther will be the first film in the Marvel Cinematic Universe to feature a primarily black cast, and a very impressive one at that. Let’s run it down: Chadwick Boseman as T’Challa, Lupita Nyong’o as his love interest Nakia, Michael B. Jordan as Erik Killmonger (a Wakandan exile), and Daniel Kaluuya, fresh off the wild success of Get Out, will be Wakabi, T’Challa’s confidant. In addition, Forest Whittaker and Angela Bassett will star as Wakandans. Morgan Freeman will return as Everett Ross as well as Andy Serkis, once again playing the eccentric arms dealer Ulysses Klaue.
The trailer opens with Ross interrogating Klaue, who tells the truth about Wakanda. On the outside it seems a developing country, but as Klaue narrates, this only masks its power and riches. We see shots of a beautiful paradise locked inside a deep cavernous valley. Mercenaries wander through the jungle, guns raised, tensions heightened only to be effortlessly taken out by the Black Panther, barely a blur as he pounces from gunman to gunman. Klaue turns towards the two-way mirror, laughing maniacally at T’Challa and one of his bodyguards on the other side as they look at each other with disturbed looks.
This trailer really sold me when the Marvel Studios logo flashed and they started playing “Legend Has It” by the merciless outlaw hip-hop duo Run The Jewels. The camera pans over a futuristic metropolis, presumably the capital of Wakanda. Forest Whittaker and other Wakandans appear briefly, dressed in elegant garb and makeup, mixing some hot liquid or something, possibly smelting vibranium metal, their key export and source for Captain America’s shield. From there there’s a lot of great action. Someone dressed up in an African style mask, sets of a bomb to break Klaue out of jail. A brief shot of a casino shows Luptia Nyong’o looking stunning, and one of T’Challa’s body guards engaging in a stunningly choreographed fight sequence. More shots of Wakanda and of the UN, people pointing guns and spears at each other, particularly Michael B. Jordan, who looks to be the villain here. The Wakandan design all looks amazing and original, making this one of the most unique looking Marvel films yet.
I am very excited for this. Black Panther was one of the best parts of Civil War and his story is a very interesting one. For a superhero movie, let alone summer blockbuster, to have a primarily black cast is nothing short of groundbreaking. There’s a lot to like here, especially from the fight scenes, which look amazingly fresh and intense. The inclusion of Everett Ross and Klaue guarantees that S.H.I.E.L.D. and possibly hydra will likely be involved, perhaps seeking to take control of Wakanda’s supply of vibranium. If this can live up to the standard Marvel has set, then there’s sure to be no shortage of fun here.