Ryan Coogler Talks ‘Black Panther’


Marvel’s  film doesn’t even hit theaters until 2018 but with every announcement, we’re becoming more excited about this sure fire box office hit.

Now that Comic-Con is officially over, it looks like the reveal of the cast made the biggest impact over the weekend.

Joining director Ryan Coogler and lead Chadwick Boseman (T’Challa / a.k.a. Black Panther), the LA Times breaks down who will be playing who in the new flick:

  • Michael B. Jordan will play Erik Killmonger, who in the comics is Black Panther’s nemesis and exiled Wakandan, formerly named N’Jadaka.
  • Lupita Nyong’o is set to play Nakia, who in the comics is one of the Dora Milaje or “Adored Ones” or women from rival villages in Wakanda assembled to serve T’Challa as bodyguards (and potential wives). Spoiler: in the comics when Nakia’s romantic feelings for T’Challa aren’t returned she turns into a villain named Malice.
  • And finally Gurira will play Okoye. Okoye, in the comics, is Nakia’s friend and fellow Dora Milaje.

Never one to stray away from political awareness and community involvement, Ryan Coogler cites author Ta-Nehisi Coates and issues going on in our world as major influences for the film’s direction:

“I mean, he’s 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.”

The director will also be using today’s social climate to shape this big screen moment:

“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,” Coogler explained.

“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.”