Meet the Cast of the Black Panther!

Meet the Cast of the Black Panther!

By Erin

Marvel Studios is coming out with one of the most anticipated super-hero films ever; Black Panther, the story of T’Challa, a young African prince who takes on the mantle of King and Super Hero, and the centuries-old legacy that comes with it. T’Challa returns home to the isolated, technologically advanced African nation of Wakanda to become 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. Long known for its revolutionary creative vision, Marvel Comics has introduced its audiences to a diverse roster of Super Heroes since 1939, most notably with the groundbreaking Black Panther character that made its first appearance in “Fantastic Four Vol. 1” Issue 52, published in 1966. Arriving in theatres everywhere on February 16, 2018, you won’t want to miss this one!

Before going out to see it, check out what the cast had to share with us at the press conference about this amazing film!

In attendance was:

  •         Chadwick Boseman (“T’Challa / Black Panther”) 
  •          Lupita Nyong’o (“Nakia”)
  •          Michael B. Jordan (“Erik Killmonger”)
  •          Danai Gurira (“Okoye”)
  •          Angela Bassett (“Ramonda”) 
  •          Forest Whitaker (“Zuri”)
  •          Andy Serkis (“Ulysses Klaue”)
  •          Martin Freeman (“Everett K Ross”)
  •          Daniel Kaluuya (“W’Kabi”)
  •          Winston Duke (“M’Baku”)
  •          Letitia Wright (“Shuri”)
  •          Director Ryan Coogler
  •          Producer Kevin Feige

Chadwick Boseman. Photo by Alberto E. Rodriguez/Getty Images for Disney

The first topic that was discussed was about when Chadwick Boseman got the call to play Black Panther in Civil War, and if he knew that role would end up having a movie based solely around him later on?  

Chadwick: The initial phone call from Kevin Feige, Louis D’Esposito, Nate Moore and the Russo Brothers was one where they essentially said, ‘We want to bring your character into the Marvel Comic Universe – as a stand-alone, but this is the best way to introduce him in Civil War.’  So I was aware of it.  And I think when I was shooting Civil War, I was not aware that other people weren’t aware that this was going to happen, because it was such at the forefront of my mind and when we did the introduction at El Capitan.  So – I’m sorry that you didn’t know that. But at the same time, I love the fact that it’s a surprise to people.

Many props were given to the ladies of Wakanda. All the ladies are so powerful, so beautiful, and so regal on that screen.  This film is Black Panther, but could also have been called The Bad-Ass Women of Wakanda.  For real. “The bad ass women of Wakanda” term came from the moderator of the press Junket, Nischelle Turner from E.T. (Entertainment Tonight). Beautiful Angela Bassett plays the queen and she shared how proud she was of the film.

Angela:  I was so pleased that this story, written by Ryan, and Joe Robert Cole, and Marvel, that it supported that. In African culture, they feel as if there is no king without a queen. I think in this story, it highlights the queen, the warrior, the general – the young sister.  I was so proud to have my daughter, and my son there last night, because in their faces, and in their spirit –and they were feeling themselves. And they stood taller after last night.

Letitia Wright was asked what her favorite weapon or gadget was, since her character created all of them in the film.

Letitia: My favorite gadget would definitely be – I created all of ‘em, right? I think T’Challa’s suit’s quite beautiful. But I think the gauntlets is pretty dope, because her personal little thing. It’s got vibranium in it, and it has kitty-cat paws where she grabs and she does some damage. So I loved those.

Chadwick shared some thoughts about Wakanda and African culture.

Chadwick:  I think when you talk about what Wakanda is, and what it would have to be in order to progress to the place that we saw – even though we’re talking about a fantasy – the idea of an unconquered nation, that has not been, you know, tampered with by the various means that it would have been tampered with; the idea of the next generation being smarter, being better than you – is a concept that they would have evolved to that – so even though we’re in the same generation, she’s my sister – she benefits from whatever I have reached.  So you want your sons and daughters to be better than you were. So that concept is a Wakandan concept, I think. You know, my older siblings, they raised me.  And so to a certain degree when I say, I allow her -I’m meaning it like, you see the genius that is inside the people that come after you.  And if you have an ancestor around, they’re looking at you like, ‘I know you’re looking up to me, but we’re looking up to you.’ That is an African concept. 

Michael B. Jordan; Chadwick Boseman; Angela Bassett. Photo by Alberto E. Rodriguez/Getty Images for Disney)

Before the conference wrapped up, with so many powerful women in this film, the cast was asked what they would like everyone to walk away with. Lupita Nyong’o and Ryan Coogler gave their thoughts.

Lupita: I would say I love the way this film represents women in that each and every one of us is an individual, unique and we all have our own sense of power and our own agency and we hold our own space without being pitted against each other.  I think that’s a very, very powerful message to send to children, both male and female this idea.  I think often times in movies we fall into that trap where women, there’s very few of us and then we are against each other.  There’s a competitive spirit and stuff like that and this film freezes all that.  And we see women going about their  business and supporting each other, even arguing with each other, you know; having different points of view, but still not being against each other and I think that’s extremely important and in so doing the fact that in this film there’s so many of us, we really get a sense of the fabric of Wakanda as a nation and we see women along side men and we see how much more effective a society can be if they allow women to explore their full potential. 

Ryan: Just to add to that, speaking of some folks that were involved with the film who aren’t here to speak for themselves, this film has involvement from brilliant women all over from start to finish, the studio, his right and left hand and his right hand is Louie Esposito, with his left hand is Victoria Alonzo who is amazing and she was there from day one and our crew hired women who were the best person for the job. They weren’t hired because they were women, they were hired because they were the best for the job and that was our cinematographer Rachel Morrison, our costume designer Ruth Carter, production designer Hannah Beachler and our assistant director who was responsible for getting her team going Lisa Satriano and post production the film was edited by Michael Shawver and Debbie Berman who is from South Africa and finished by Victoria Alonzo, but you know throughout that process it was a constant thing where,  Victoria raised her hand sometimes when we were in a script meeting like I think that should happen. You know you make it and you see zig where you should have zagged and working with these amazing women, but I mean I thought that the set was just, I was incredibly blessed to have these people, to have their perspective and had their fingerprints all over it. 

We also got a look at some of the Black Panther merchandise that is available. There are some pretty cool Black Panther themed items!

Some of the costumes from the movie were also on display. It’s always a treat to see these in person. The detail in them is just amazing!

Check out the trailer below and get ready to see Marvel Studios Black Panther this Friday!

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BLACK PANTHER arrives in theatres everywhere on February 16, 2018!

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