|Photo: Image grab from YouTube|
The first teaser trailer for Marvel’s Black Panther was released yesterday and one thing is for certain: RYAN COOGLER DID NOT COME TO PLAY GAMES. Here are five takeaways from the trailer that made me want to sit in a corner and read Marvel until the premier in nine months.
The first Marvel movie with a primarily black cast, this roster is not one to underestimate. Some of the best black talent in Hollywood (or otherwise) is featured heavily in this film, and we are all the here for it. Lead actor Chadwick Boseman revives his role as T’Challa aka Black Panther, which had a small role in the last Avengers movie. It’s great to see Boseman in a role that’s completely opposite his biopic past, and if the teaser is any indication, he is going to KILL his first lead role in an action film. He’s flanked by heavy hitters like Forest Whitaker, Angela Bassett, and Lupita Nyong’o all of whom make me straight up giddy. Then there’s MORE. Michael B. Jordan adds a villainous role to his roster, portraying Erik Killmonger. Newcomer from across the pond Daniel Kaluuya makes a particularly fine appearance, and Danai Gurira from The Walking Dead starts off her year in film with a bang. All this black excellence and we are LIVING.
The setting of the new film is Wakanda, which is a fictional country located in Northeast Africa. This being said, you can safely assume that the costume department went full Motherland chic. Watching the trailer had me lusting over all the ankara print I could find, and I’d be surprised if Zuvva.com’s servers survive the day. The trailer boasts some bold fashion choices that are nothing short of stunning. From the extras in color coordinated tribal garb to main characters striding through in skin tight modern pieces, this movie promises to be a visual masterpiece. I’m already going through my white washed closet and ugly crying.
CAN WE TALK ABOUT THE PRODUCTION TEAM?
You can have all the movie stars you want, but without the right team behind the scenes, you just end up with another truly terrible start studded holiday shtick. (You know the one with the best friend, the divorcee, the workaholic, and a tired ass plot? Yeah. That one.) The true geniuses of Black Panther are never seen on screen. Ryan Coogler is proving himself to be a director of Epic proportions, with this enormous project under his belt. Following Fruitvale Station and Creed, he’s proving that anything Hollywood does, he can do better. Then there’s NY Times Award Winning Author Ta-Nehisi Coates, who is the voice behind the current version of this storyline in the Marvel Comic Book Universe as well. YAASSS BLACK MEN WINNING, YAASSS.
BLACK WOMEN KICKING ASS AND TAKING NAMES.
One of the biggest gripes about DC’s latest release Wonder Woman was that the story’s core theme of feminism fell flat towards the end of the film. Diana was all about dismantling the patriarchy except when it came to her very new, very mortal boo thang. This doesn’t seem to be the case with this film if the teaser trailer is any indication. Not only are Nyongo and Gurira essential to the plot as members of Wakanda’s all female special forces, Angela Bassett makes an appearance an essential matriarch to the storyline. Phylicia Rashad didn’t appear in the trailer but listed in the cast, and if the 90’s taught us anything, it’s that Mama Cosby don’t play no games.
At the end of the day, diversity matters, and Hollywood dedicating this kind of budget to a primarily black cast for a major action film, (owned by the Disney franchise no less!) is unprecedented. From the cast to the crew, to the clothes, to the soundtrack, this movie is black as hell, and it feels GOOD. The impact of having a black superhero film, that is poised to break all kinds of records, is an important stepping stone for black artists at large, and gives a strong sense of hope and pride to the black community of America. Everything about this trailer says we’re here, we’re loud, we’re proud, and we’re staking our claim.
So excuse me for the next nine months as I attempt to change my citizenship to Wakandan, and only answer to Ororo Munroe.