Black Panther Writer Touts the Film's Historical Significance

Tuesday, 16 February 2016 - 8:43PM
Marvel
Black Panther
Tuesday, 16 February 2016 - 8:43PM
Black Panther Writer Touts the Film's Historical Significance
Black Panther is going to be a big deal. Marvel Studios has long fought accusations that their movies aren't diverse enough, and they're hoping their first film featuring a non-white male lead is going to go a long way toward improving their level of diversity. The movie will focus on T'Challa, the king of the fictional African nation of Wakanda, and the first black superhero in the world of comics. The task of writing the groundbreaking film has been given to Joe Robert Cole, who recetnly told Mother Jones about what the opportunity means to him:

Opening quote
"Black Panther is a historic opportunity to be a part of something important and special, particularly at a time when African Americans are affirming their identities while dealing with vilification and dehumanization. The image of a black hero on this scale is just really exciting. When I was a kid, I would change superheroes' names: Instead of James Bond, I was James Black. Instead of Batman, I was Blackman. And I have a three-year-old son. My son will be five when Black Panther comes out. That puts it all into perspective for me. in the process of figuring many of those things out."
Closing quote


Another first for the movie is the depiction of Wakanda, which in the comics is the world's most-advanced nation, making it wildly unlike the Africa we're used to seeing in movies. And Cole is taking special steps to make sure that the movie gets the country right and does Africa justice at the same time:

Opening quote
"Approaching the movie from a perspective that is rooted in the cultures of [Africa] is important. [We're all] cognizant of what's going on in the world, in black communities, and in our country. We are aware of the importance of that, and the platform this movie provides us with. I write characters focusing on them as human beings, and then you wrap them within a cultureSo I think I can connect with [T'Challa] as a person with brown skin who's viewed differently by the world. In terms of his culture, we're thinking about where we are locating Wakanda within the continent, and what the people and history of that region are like. It's a process of investigation to help inform the story at this point. But we are going to be engaged with consultants who are experts on the continent and on African history and politics ... I think you try to extrapolate from the early civilizations and cultures of the continent, kind of looking for unique ways they set themselves apart from Western civilizations, and then pursue those avenues technologically and see where that takes you."
Closing quote


It sounds like Cole and company are putting a lot of work into Black Panther to make sure the film is as good as it can possibly be, and the King of Wakanda deserves no less.
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Black Panther