Where have you been if you haven’t heard about Marvel Studios’ new film, Black Panther? Just to name a few stars, it features Chadwick Boseman, Michael B. Jordan, Lupita Nyong’o, Angela Bassett and Forest Whitaker. Definitely, an all-star cast. Wakanda forever right?! Oh, okay let’s back up a bit for you. Don’t worry, there won’t be any spoilers.
Black Panther Takes World By Storm
So, here’s the story behind Black Panther. The film is about T’Challa, king of the fictional African country Wakanda, returning home after his father’s death to take the throne. However, his position is challenged, thus, he must summon the full power of Black Panther to save his people. Ryan Coogler directed the hit film and co-wrote the screenplay. Upon its release on February 16, 2018, it became an instant blockbuster hit. Critics and fans alike praised the screenplay, acting, costumes, soundtrack and characters. Overall, it grossed around $462 million across the globe becoming the highest-grossing film of the year. The record setting debut made director Coogler the only African American director to hit such a high gross for a film! Seriously, you could not go on Twitter or any social media without seeing posts about Wakanda or fans proclaiming Wakanda forever!
In the director’s letter to his fans he expressed his gratitude, saying, “Never in a million years did we imagine that you would come out this strong.”
Black Panther, A New Superhero
For many fans, this film was a long time coming. Finally, the world could celebrate a black superhero starring in a blockbuster film. Between the Afrofuturism aesthetics and unapologetic embracing of black swagger, the film broke the mold. It seemed to revamp what people once considered possible for a black superhero. No, this character is not just made for laughs, he’s a complex and respected hero. A story involving royalty and legacy, this definitely stands out as a new way for Hollywood to see black superheroes. Of course, we cannot forget the empowered female characters in the film played by Lupita Nyong’o, Angela Bassett, Letitia Wright and Danai Guira. They’re fierce but funny and again, help us reimagine all that can come from expanding representation in films.
Hero T’Challa is relatable and ironically human for being an admired superhero. During Coogler’s interview with Rolling Stone, he said, “I think the question that I’m trying to ask and answer in Black Panther is, ‘What does truly mean to be African?’ The MCU has set itself in the real world as much as possible – so what does it mean for T’Challa to move around as this black man in a movie reality that tries to be a real world?”
Everyone is also celebrating the incredible soundtrack. Kendrick Lamar produced Black Panther‘s soundtrack, which includes the hit song, “All the Stars” from Lamar and SZA. In addition, Ludwig Göransson composed the movie’s score by recording local musicians in South Africa and Senegal.
If you haven’t seen the film yet, please get on that! For now, here’s the trailer.