Black Panther (2018 Movies)
Centuries ago, five African tribes war over a meteorite containing vibranium. One warrior ingests a “heart-shaped herb” affected by the metal and gains superhuman abilities, becoming the first “Black Panther”. He unites all but the Jabari Tribe to form the nation of Wakanda. The Wakandans use the vibranium to develop advanced technology and isolate themselves from the world by posing as a Third World country.
In 1992, King T’Chaka visits his brother N’Jobu, who is working undercover in Oakland, California. T’Chaka accuses N’Jobu of assisting black-market arms dealer Ulysses Klaue with stealing vibranium from Wakanda. N’Jobu’s partner reveals he is Zuri, another undercover Wakandan, and confirms T’Chaka’s suspicions.
In the present day, following T’Chaka’s death, his son T’Challa returns to Wakanda to assume the throne. He and Okoye, the leader of the Dora Milaje regiment, extract Nakia, T’Challa’s ex-lover, from an undercover assignment so she can attend his coronation ceremony with his mother Ramonda and younger sister Shuri. At the ceremony, the Jabari Tribe’s leader M’Baku challenges T’Challa for the crown in ritual combat. T’Challa defeats M’Baku and convinces him to yield rather than die.
After Klaue and Erik Stevens steal a Wakandan artifact from a museum, W’Kabi, T’Challa’s friend and Okoye’s lover, urges him to bring Klaue back dead or alive. T’Challa, Okoye, and Nakia travel to Busan, South Korea where Klaue plans to sell the artifact to CIA agent Everett K. Ross. A firefight erupts and Klaue attempts to flee but is caught by T’Challa, who reluctantly releases him to Ross’ custody. Klaue tells Ross that Wakanda’s international image is a front for a technologically advanced civilization. Erik attacks and extracts Klaue as Ross is severely injured protecting Nakia. Rather than pursue Klaue, T’Challa takes Ross to Wakanda where their technology can save him.
While Shuri heals Ross, T’Challa confronts Zuri about N’Jobu. Zuri explains that N’Jobu planned to share Wakanda’s technology with people of African descent around the world to help them conquer their oppressors. As T’Chaka arrested N’Jobu, N’Jobu attacked Zuri, forcing T’Chaka to kill him. T’Chaka ordered Zuri to lie that N’Jobu had disappeared and left behind N’Jobu’s American son, Erik, in order to maintain the lie. Erik became a U.S. black ops soldier, adopting the name “Killmonger”. Meanwhile, Killmonger kills Klaue and takes his body to Wakanda. He is brought before the tribal elders, revealing his identity and claim to the throne. Killmonger challenges T’Challa to ritual combat; after killing Zuri, he defeats T’Challa and hurls him over a waterfall. After ingesting the heart-shaped herb, Killmonger orders the rest incinerated, but Nakia extracts one first. Killmonger, supported by W’Kabi and his army, prepares to distribute shipments of Wakandan weapons to operatives around the world.
Nakia, Shuri, Ramonda and Ross flee to the Jabari Tribe for aid. They find a comatose T’Challa, rescued by the Jabari in repayment for sparing M’Baku’s life. Healed by Nakia’s herb, T’Challa returns to fight Killmonger, who dons his own Black Panther suit and commands W’Kabi and his army to attack T’Challa. Shuri, Nakia, and the Dora Milaje join T’Challa, while Ross remotely pilots a jet and shoots down the planes carrying the vibranium weapons. M’Baku and the Jabari arrive to reinforce T’Challa. Confronted by Okoye, W’Kabi and his army stand down. Fighting in Wakanda’s vibranium mine, T’Challa disrupts Killmonger’s suit and stabs him. Killmonger refuses to be healed, choosing to die a free man rather than be incarcerated.
T’Challa establishes an outreach center at the building where N’Jobu died to be run by Nakia and Shuri. In a mid-credits scene, T’Challa appears before the United Nations to reveal Wakanda’s true nature to the world. In a post-credits scene, Shuri helps Bucky Barnes with his recuperation.
Director:- Ryan Coogler
Producer:- Kevin Feige
Joe Robert Cole
Based on:- Black Panther
Michael B. Jordan
Music by:- Ludwig Göransson
Cinematographer:- Rachel Morrison
January 29, 2018 (Dolby Theatre)
February 16, 2018 (United States)
Country:- United States
Budget:- $200 Million
Box office:- $748.2 Million
- Chadwick Boseman as T’Challa / Black Panther:The king of the African nation of Wakanda, who gains enhanced strength by ingesting the Heart-Shaped Herb. After the events of Captain America: Civil War, and the death of his father T’Chaka, T’Challa is in mourning while ascending to the throne. Boseman, who called T’Challa an anti-hero, said that he is “very much aware of [his] responsibility” as the leader of Wakanda. Black Panther’s suit that forms around his body was inspired by a similar design seen in Ta-Nehisi Coates’ Black Panther comic book run. Boseman worked with the same dialect coach he had during Message from the King, and worked with Marrese Crump to stay in shape between Civil War and Black Panther. He signed a five-film contract with Marvel. Ashton Tyler plays a young T’Challa.
- Michael B. Jordan as N’Jadaka / Erik “Killmonger” Stevens:
The son of N’Jobu, and a U.S. black-ops soldier who seeks to overthrow T’Challa. Executive producer Nate Moore said Killmonger “has his own opinion on how Wakanda has been run and should [be] run”. Jordan, who had “been wanting to play a villain for a while,” likened Killmonger and T’Challa’s relationship to the X-Men characters Magneto and Professor X. He added that Killmonger is “very strategic, thoughtful. He’s very patient. Very well skilled, trained to a T.” Killmonger’s bumpy, ritualistic tribal markings on his chest and torso resemble the scar tattoos of the Mursi and Surma tribes, and consisted of 90 individually sculpted silicone molds that took two-and-a-half hours to apply. Jordan would have to sit in a sauna for two hours at the end of the day to remove the prosthetics. Killmonger’s dreadlocks hairstyle was a modern take on the character’s long hair in the comics. Corey Calliet served as Jordan’s trainer on the film, after also doing so on Creed. Seth Carr plays a young Killmonger.
- Lupita Nyong’o as Nakia:
T’Challa’s former lover and a War Dog, an undercover spy for Wakanda placed in other countries to complete missions. She is from the River Tribe. Nyong’o called Nakia a “departure” from her comic counterpart. She begins the film fighting for enslaved women in Nigeria; Nyong’o learned to speak Hausa for certain scenes in the film. She also trained in judo, jujitsu, silat and Filipino martial arts.
- Danai Gurira as Okoye:
An “extremely proud” Wakandan and traditionalist from the Border Tribe, who is the head of the Dora Milaje, the all-female special forces of Wakanda, who serve as T’Challa’s bodyguards. When looking to cast Gurira, director Ryan Coogler had not seen The Walking Dead, in which Gurira portrays the popular character Michonne, and instead wanted her for the part because of her performance in Mother of George. Gurira said that the fighting skills she learned playing Michonne complemented the skills of Okoye, but that “there’s a lot of ways that they’re extremely different … Okoye is a whole ‘nother thing.” Gurira described the Dora Milaje as a secret service that is “also very much about intel. It’s not just military,” with Okoye the head of intel. Regarding Okoye’s stoic demeanor, Gurira said, “She can be serious, but she also has an unexpected sense of humor. She has a heart, but for her country and for her people.” Gurira’s head was re-shaved every day to have her head tattoos applied, which took two-and-a-half to three-and-a-half hours.
- Martin Freeman as Everett K. Ross:
A member of the CIA and former liaison of its Joint Counter Terrorism Task Force. Freeman said that Ross “has an uneasy peace with T’Challa”, and that he “goes on a strange journey, an enlightening journey to Wakanda.” Unlike his comic book counterpart, who mainly served as comic relief, Freeman and the filmmakers sought to turn this version of Ross into a more capable agent in terms of diplomacy and combat.
- Daniel Kaluuya as W’Kabi: A confidant to T’Challa and his best friend, who is the head of security for the Border Tribe, serving as the first line of defense for Wakanda.
- Letitia Wright as Shuri:
T’Challa’s 16-year-old sister and the princess of Wakanda who designs new technology for the country. Wright described her as “an innovative spirit and an innovative mind” who “wants to take Wakanda to a new place… [and] has a great fashion sense”. Wright also felt Shuri was a good role model for young black girls. Moore called Shuri the smartest person in the world, even more so than Tony Stark.
- Winston Duke as M’Baku:
A powerful, ruthless warrior who is the leader of Wakanda’s mountain tribe, the Jabari, who are in protest to T’Challa being the new king. Duke described the Jabari as people who “strongly believe that to move forward, you have to have a strong adherence and respect for the past. So they have a deep moral conscience.” Character elements from Christopher Priest’s 1998-2003 Black Panther series were adapted for M’Baku’s portrayal in the film. M’Baku is not referred to in the film by his comics alter ego “Man-Ape”, since Marvel felt there were “a lot of racial implications that don’t sit well” in having a black character dress up as an ape. This aspect of the character was instead reworked to have the Jabari tribe that M’Baku is the leader of worship the gorilla gods, with M’Baku still wearing elements of fur on his arms and legs and a chest-plate that hints at the gorilla. Moore continued, “Man-Ape is a problematic character for a lot of reasons, but the idea behind Man-Ape we thought was really fascinating … It’s a line I think we’re walking, and hopefully walking successfully.” To further differentiate the Jabari, Duke spoke a version of the Nigerian Igbo language rather than the Xhosa language spoken by other Wakandans.
- Angela Bassett as Ramonda:
T’Challa and Shuri’s mother and Queen Mother of Wakanda. Boseman noted that Ramonda “is one of the advisors that [T’Challa] would look to… for some of the answers of what his father might want or might do. She may not be exactly right all the time, but she definitely has insights.” Bassett wore a silver, waist-length wig for the role that was made from 120 pieces of hair hand-rolled into dreadlocks. Calliet also served as Bassett’s trainer, working with her before she began filming, and while she was on set, by creating high-intensity interval training circuits and helping to craft her diet.
- Forest Whitaker as Zuri:
An elder statesman in Wakanda, and the keeper of the heart-shaped herb. Coogler called Zuri a religious and spiritual figure, and a way to reference the spirituality within Wakanda from the comics. He also added that Zuri “is a major tie back” to T’Chaka for T’Challa, and is “Black Panther’s version of Obi-Wan Kenobi.” Denzel Whitaker, who is not related to Forest, plays a young Zuri.
- Andy Serkis as Ulysses Klaue:
A South African black-market arms dealer, smuggler and gangster, who is allied with Killmonger. He uses a piece of advanced Wakandan mining equipment as a sonic disruptor arm-cannon, replacing his left arm which he lost in Avengers: Age of Ultron. Boseman described Klaue as a threat to Wakanda, one of the few outsiders to enter the country, and someone with access to vibranium, comparing him to Osama bin Laden. Serkis added that in addition to his desire for vibranium, Klaue is motivated by a “personal” vendetta against T’Challa, and “to expose what he thinks is the hypocrisy of Wakanda.”
Cole called the film an historic opportunity to depict a black superhero “at a time when African-Americans are affirming their identities while dealing with vilification and dehumanization.” He added that it was important to root the themes of the film in the actual cultures of Africa, and that they would be working with experts on the region of Africa that Wakanda is supposed to be located in. Elaborating on this, Cole noted that all the countries in Africa have “different histories, mythologies, and cultures [so] what we tried to do was hone in on some of the history, some of the cultural influences and then extrapolate out in our technology … we wanted to root it in reality first and then build out from there”. Coogler compared the rarity of vibranium existing only in Wakanda to the real-life mineral coltan that can almost only be found in Congo. He wanted Wakanda to feel like a country rather than just one city by featuring multiple tribes, each with their own cultures, and created a project bible that listed each Wakandan tribe and their origins, which guided the design process. Special care was taken in all aspects of the design to create a futuristic look that was not alien, as some of Jack Kirby’s comic designs appeared.
Beachler wanted to honor the comics with her designs, and then fill in the gaps with research concentrated on Sub-Saharan Africa, pulling inspiration from Uganda, Rwanda, Burundi, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, and Ethiopia, as well as the designs of Zaha Hadid. Moore described this approach as a love letter to Africa. Beachler looked at the architecture of existing tribes, and then tried to make them technologically advanced in a natural way rather than if Wakanda had been colonized. She said that this combination of old and new was an important theme throughout the film, as well as circular motifs to signify the transmission of energy. Some of the older areas explored in the film include Warrior Falls, the City of the Dead, and the Hall of Kings, which are juxtaposed with the more modern Afropunk style of the Golden City, the capital. Rondavels were incorporated into the tops of Wakanda’s skyscrapers, inspired by the look of mountains at Blyde River Canyon in South Africa. Beachler created different sigils and architecture for each of the Wakandan tribes, with the Border Tribe inspired by Lesotho, the Merchant Tribe having a sigil based on Nigerian writing, and the Golden Tribe using a symbol for the sun found throughout Africa. Gorilla City, home to the Jabari Tribe, was originally set in a rain forest, but Coogler suggested that it be found up a mountain in snow. Beachler based the written form of the Wakandan language seen throughout the film on an old Nigerian language. Beachler also worked on the vibranium technology used throughout the country, consulting with mining and metallurgy experts. This included the vibranium mine where the substance is depicted as glowing blue rocks, before it is refined into the stainless steel look previously seen in the MCU. The film also adapts the kimoyo bead technology from the comics, and features sand-based technology. Beachler wanted all of the futuristic elements of the film to be consistent with projections of what real world technology may be like in 25 or 30 years, including the maglev and hovercraft technology used in vehicles. The Wakandan vehicles depicted in the film include a maglev train for carrying vibranium; the king’s Royal Talon Fighter, which looks like a mask from the top and bottom; and the Dragon Flyer, inspired by the Congo peafowl.
The majority of Beachler’s sets were constructed on sound stages in Atlanta, including the Tribal Council, Shuri’s design space, and the Hall of Kings. The Tribal Council set was built with a glass floor through which an old ruin can be seen. The exterior set for Warrior Falls was built on a backlot north of Atlanta, and was inspired by the Oribi Gorge. The set was 36 feet (11 m), made up of a 6 feet (1.8 m) high pool, and then 30 feet (9.1 m) high cliff faces that were designed to be extended to 100 feet (30 m) with visual effects. A framework for the cliffs was hand-sculpted from industrial styrofoam, with a system of tunnels built-in to the design to allow extras to climb up to different areas of the cliffs. The framework was then covered with 25,000 cubic feet (710 m3) of foam that was sculptured to match rocks found at Oribi Gorge. Six large pumps were used to fill the pool at the base of the set, and create a waterfall over the ledge at the bottom. The base of the pool was made from padding so stunts could safely be carried out on the set, but designed to look like rocks and to have enough grip that the actors would not fall over in the water. The set took four months to complete, and was used for two weeks of filming.
Costume designer Ruth E. Carter referenced the Maasai, Himba, Dogon, Basotho, Tuareg, Turkana, Xhosa, Zulu, Suri and Dinka people in her designs for Wakanda. She also examined appropriate works by Japanese fashion designer Issey Miyake, French fashion designer Yves Saint Laurent and American fashion designer Donna Karan. Winnie Mandela provided inspiration to the costumes Carter created for Angela Bassett, while the Dora Milaje costumes primarily used red to reflect different African cultures, and included beaded tabards that feature talismans for “protection, good spirit, and good luck, and a sense of ownership, as if the costume could be handed down from mother to daughter.” Carter specifically wanted to avoid the “girls in the bathing suits” look, and instead have the Dora Milaje wear full armor that they would practically need for battle. She also had to take the stunt work that the actors had to do into consideration. Anthony Francisco, the Senior Visual Development Illustrator, noted the Dora Milaje costumes were based 80 percent on the Maasai, five percent on samurai, five percent on ninjas, and five percent on the Ifugao people from the Philippines. The arm band and neck rings were a reference to the Southern Ndebele people, which denotes stature. As such, Okoye has gold bands and rings to denote she is a general, compared to the other Dora Milaje wearing silver. The costumes for T’Challa combined his role as king and as the head of the military, including combining a kente cloth cloak with military boots. Carter also used distinct colors and patterns for each of Wakanda’s tribes, such as green with shells for the River Tribe based on the Suri, blue with wood for the Border Tribe, and black with royal purple for the Black Panther and the Royal Palace. The Merchant Tribe was clothed in plums and purples for the merchants in reference to the Tuareg, and ochre for the Mining Tribe, inspired by the Himba. Three out of every five people in Wakanda go barefoot, which also influenced the costuming process. When the Wakandan characters are in other countries, their clothing looks “quite normal” but is intended to be consistent with their respective Wakandan designs. Carter created 700 costumes for the film, working with “an army” of illustrators, designers, mold makers, fabric dyers, jewelry makers and more. Hair department head Camille Friend referenced traditional African art, fabrics, hair, and textures, and the current-day natural hair movement in her designs. Friend strived to keep the hair natural, using “braids, locs and twists… extensions, [and] wigs”. As with Carter, each tribe had their own identifiable hair aesthetic, such as the Jabari Tribe having “very straight, clean lines” with war-paint detail, inspired by Senegalese warriors.
Principal photography had begun by January 21, 2017, at EUE/Screen Gems Studios in the Atlanta metropolitan area, under the working title Motherland. Filming also took place in the Sweet Auburn neighborhood in Atlanta and Atlanta City Hall, the latter serving as a United Nations building. Shortly after filming started, Kani’s son Atandwa stated that he would appear in the film alongside his father, the latter reprising the role of T’Chaka, while on-set photographs revealed that Martin Freeman would reprise his role as Everett K. Ross. Marvel announced the start of production on January 26, along with confirming the casting of Freeman, Wright, and John Kani, and revealing that Andy Serkis would reprise his role as Ulysses Klaue from Avengers: Age of Ultron. Atandwa portrays a younger version of his father’s character, and also served as a cultural consultant during filming, along with dialect coach Beth McGuire who ensured there was continuity between the various actors who had to use “Wakandan accents”.
Jordan joined the production later than the rest of the core cast. He felt that this aided his performance, since his character is separate from and in conflict with the other characters. Because of this, Jordan kept to himself while he was on set. It was revealed during a press visit to the film’s set that the Dora Milaje would be widely explored in the film, which does not adapt the ceremonial betrothal aspect from the comics. Moore compared the politics and humor of the film to Captain America: The Winter Soldier, saying that the former would be inherent but not “preachy”, and that the latter would be avoiding the tones of Guardians of the Galaxy and Ant-Man. He added that the film does not depend on the plots of any other MCU films—and the character Bucky Barnes / Winter Soldier would not come out of cryogenic sleep during Black Panther after being frozen by Wakandan scientists at the end of Civil War—but the events of this film do affect the wider MCU moving forward. Since Black Panther and Avengers: Infinity War were filming simultaneously in Atlanta, both production teams worked together closely to ensure a unified presentation of Wakanda in the films, as the country also plays a large role in Infinity War.
Additional filming took place in South Korea, with the city of Busan serving as the setting of a car chase scene, involving 150 cars and over 700 people. Filming in Busan began on March 17, 2017, with shooting occurring at the Jagalchi Fish Market, and filming taking place by Gwangalli Beach on March 21. Other filming locations included Marine City in the Haeundae District and at the Gwangandaegyo Bridge. The production crew also hired hundreds of current and former film students from local universities as staff or assistant staff during the South Korea filming. Filming in the country wrapped on March 27. At CinemaCon 2017, Wright was revealed to be portraying Shuri in the film. Location shooting also took place at the Rwenzori Mountains and Bwindi Impenetrable National Park in Uganda, while Marzano Films provided aerial footage of South Africa, Zambia, Uganda and South Korea. Filming concluded on April 19, 2017.
Cinematographer Rachel Morrison, who was eager to work on Black Panther because of the bond that she formed with Coogler on Fruitvale Station, filmed in 3.4K ArriRaw with Arri Alexa XT Plus cameras and Panavision Primo lenses. Morrison stated that she primarily used a two camera set-up with a third or fourth camera on occasion. Morrison also said that lighting was her biggest challenge, the magnitude of which “was much bigger than I’d experienced before”, and made extensive use of Arri SkyPanel LED light fixtures, which she could preprogram from an iPad. Morrison exclaimed that she surrounded entire sets with SkyPanels and even “built an entire jungle on a sound stage.”
Visual effects for the film were created by: Industrial Light & Magic (ILM) with help from Virtuos, Stereo D, and Scanline VFX; Double Negative; Luma Pictures; Mammal Studios; Method Studios; Perception; Rise Visual Effects Studios; Torm Studios; Trixter; Cantina Creative; Lola VFX; Capital T; Exceptional Minds; Technicolor VFX; Rodeo FX; Imageloom VFX; Anibrain; Method Pune; Bot VFX; Pixstone Images; Futureworks; Vertigo Visual; FX3X; and Yannix Thailand Co. Previsualization was completed by Digital Domain and The Third Floor, while Perception also created the main title sequence for the film.
ILM was primarily responsible for creating the digital urban environments of Wakanda. VFX supervisor Craig Hammack said, “African culture has symbology, color and richness and a certain amount of earthy material qualities that make things difficult to design as a futuristic city,” which typically use lots of steel and glass. ILM looked to real life examples that blend modern architecture with natural environments like One Central Park in Sydney and modern African architecture like The Pearl of Africa Hotel in Kampala as influences. ILM also worked on some interior shots, extending Beachler’s set, and the initial rhinoceros. For T’Challa’s ancestral plane scenes, ILM worked on the nighttime scene first, having the sky reflect the Northern Lights, and worked had to keep the sky visible in the daytime scene. ILM also added additional vibranium sand for the burial sequences to aid in the breathing of Boseman when filming, and added the flames when Killmonger burns the heart-shaped herb. Perception, which also did the main on-end title sequence that referenced the vibranium sand effect that ILM and other companies contributed through the film, also helped create Shuri’s laboratory and the interface designs for the displays.
Method Studios created much of the digital natural environments of Wakanda. Method built a 3,600 square kilometers (1,400 sq mi) landscape that is visible in various aerial shots in the film. VFX Supervisor Andy Brown said, “Looking out from the top of Mount Bashenga, you can see the rich diversity of African landscapes – it looks lush and jungle-like in one direction, and more like the plains and savannah in the other, so we had multiple ecosystems to tackle, but it really drives home the vastness of these shots.” Method was also responsible for creating Black Panther’s and Killmonger’s digital suits, and many of the film’s digital characters, vehicles, and weapons. They also worked on the final battle sequence, including crowd simulation. Method worked with the stunt coordinators in their motion capture sessions to give each Dora Milaje or Jabari fighter their unique fighting style. Brown noted that “In addition to randomizing the height, weight, and other characteristics of each fighter to add variance to the crowd, we had to incorporate more specific elements such as unique face tattoos for each Dora Milaje fighter and the signature hairstyles of the Jabari warriors.” Method also worked on the vibranium mine, animating the gadgets in Shuri’s laboratory.
Luma Pictures worked on the Busan car chase sequence, digitally creating the Lexus cars featured in the sequence. Multiple digital versions of the same car were created, so the production could have the actual cars crash and do various stunts with them, with Luma then inserting the digital versions to augment them. Luma also created the sonic forces from Klaue’s cannon, while Scanline VFX worked on digitally removing Serkis’ left arm for the sonic cannon and the London museum heist sequence.
Ludwig Göransson was hired to compose the film’s score by April 2017. Göransson traveled to Senegal and South Africa to record local musicians to form the “base” of his soundtrack. Kendrick Lamar produced the film’s curated soundtrack, Black Panther: The Album, along with Top Dawg Entertainment founder Anthony Tiffith. Coogler chose Lamar for the project because his “artistic themes align with those we explore in the film.” Three singles from the album were released throughout January and February 2018: “All the Stars”, “King’s Dead”, and “Pray for Me”. Black Panther: The Album was released on February 9, 2018, while a soundtrack of Göransson’s score was released on February 16, 2018.
As of February 27, 2018, Black Panther has grossed $421.9 million in the United States and Canada, and $326.3 million in other territories, for a worldwide total of $748.2 million. The $370.5 million earned worldwide in its opening weekend was the 15th-largest of all time. It is the ninth highest grossing MCU-film internationally, and third highest grossing MCU-film domestically. By its second weekend, the film earned $54.6 million globally from IMAX, which was the fastest Marvel film to reach the $50 million mark. The Box Office journey is going on…
With the release of Black Panther, Feige said “there are many, many stories to tell” about the character, and that he wanted Coogler to return for any potential sequel. Coogler added that he wanted to see how T’Challa would grow as a king in future films, since his reign only began recently in the MCU, while in the comics, he has been king since childhood.