Black Panther was the first black superhero in comics and his importance cannot be denied, even if you are not a fan of his awesome storylines, superpowers and his kingdom. The King of Wakanda debuted in Marvel Cinematic Universe with Captain America: Civil War and is getting his standalone film early next year (which is not too far away). Chadwick Boseman plays the character, whose real name is T’Challa. The film, directed by Ryan Coogler, is being praised for having a predominantly black cast and crew. Only actors who are white in the film are Andy Serkis’ Ulysses Klaue and Martin Freeman’s CIA agent, which is welcome for an industry that prides itself on being diverse.
Hollywood has not given much importance to black actors who have been cast as drug-dealers, criminals and stoners, infinitely more than white actors.
This is why what Kevin Feige is doing with Marvel Cinematic Universe is important. Black Panther distinguishes itself not just for having a black cast, but also for the presence of multiple female characters played by talented women. It has come late, but as they say, better late than never. Academy Award-winning actor Lupita Nyong’o gave her views on the matter. “The beauty of cinema is you all go into a room together and agree to suspend your disbelief and share this experience of another world. For that moment, you are all one in that space, experiencing the same thing. It reinforces our sense of community. These big blockbuster superhero films appearing in moments when we’re so polarized are some of the few chances we all get to be on the same page,” said Lupita.
Lupita’s character is an assassin in the film who works for T’Challa. She will also be a love-interest for the feline superhero. The Walking Dead’s Katana-toting Danai Gurira is also in the film, and plays a warrior. No surprises here. Black Panther will release on February 16, 2018.