The rapid expansion of Marvel Studios’ cinematic universe isn’t showing any signs of slowing down, and 2018 kicks off with the much-anticipated solo feature Black Panther, featuring 42 and Marshall actor Chadwick Boseman as the titular king and costumed protector of the fictional African nation of Wakanda.
Directed by Creed filmmaker Ryan Coogler from a script penned by Coogler and Joe Robert Cole (American Crime Story: The People v. O.J. Simpson), Black Panther has T’Challa (Boseman) returning home to Wakanda after the events of Captain America: Civil War to take his place on the powerful nation’s throne. His return is met with trouble, however, in the form of competing factions challenging his rule, as well as a dangerous enemy from his past.
Boseman reprises his role from Civil War, along with Florence Kasumba (Wonder Woman) as Ayo, a member of the Wakandan special forces unit known as the Dora Milaje, and Martin Freeman (Sherlock) as Everett K. Ross, the deputy task force commander of the Joint Counterterrorism Center. Andy Serkis (The Lord of the Rings trilogy) also reprises his role from Avengers: Age of Ultron as the weapons dealer Ulysses Klaue.
New additions to Marvel’s cinematic universe making their debut in Black Panther include Michael B. Jordan (Creed) as Erik Killmonger (one of the film’s main villains), Oscar-winner Lupita Nyong’o (12 Years a Slave) as Dora Milaje member Nakia, Danai Gurira (The Walking Dead) as Dora Milaje leader Okoye, Angela Bassett (How Stella Got Her Groove Back) as T’Challa’s mother, Sterling K. Brown (This Is Us) as N’Jobu, and Forest Whitaker (Rogue One: A Star Wars Story) as Wakandan statesman Zuri.
With Black Panther hitting theaters February 16, 2018, here’s everything we know about the movie so far.
The first, full-length trailer
After months of relatively few updates on the film, Black Panther finally got its first full-length trailer on October 16, 2017.
Not only does the preview offer more footage of Boseman in action as Black Panther, it also puts a spotlight on many of the female soldiers of the Dora Milaje, who are expected to play a key role in the film’s story and the advanced Wakandan society introduced in the movie. The trailer also features more footage of the film’s primary villains: Serkis’ Klaue and Jordan’s Killmonger, who appear to have very different reasons for wanting an end to T’Challa’s reign.
Possibly most interesting, however, is the reveal of a suit worn by Killmonger that appears to be similar to T’Challa’s own Black Panther uniform. Much like the first Iron Man movie and the more recent Ant-Man, Black Panther could be setting up a climactic battle between hero and villain in high-tech suits.
They’re all here
The second poster released by Marvel for Black Panther is also the first to feature the full cast. Boseman posted the first peek at the promotional image for the film on Twitter shortly after the full-length trailer’s debut.
— Chadwick Boseman (@chadwickboseman) October 16, 2017
First teaser, first poster, first look
Marvel got an early start on promoting its 2018 releases by unveiling the first poster for Black Panther and a gritty teaser trailer in June 2017.
The teaser begins with Martin Freeman’s character Everett Ross sitting in front of a very untidy Andy Serkis as the smuggler Ulysses Klaue, who’s tied to a chair in a makeshift interrogation room. “Tell me something,” Klaue says. “What do you know about Wakanda?” He then begins to hint at the powerful country’s secrets, revealing that it is in actuality the mythical place that inspired the legend of El Dorado.
“I’m the only one who’s seen it,” he continues, “and made it out alive.”
The quick glimpses of the film reveal another welcome change of scenery for the Marvel franchise. Stepping into the role of Wakanda’s new king, T’Challa (Chadwick Boseman) dons his royal garb to rule the powerful nation, as well as the uniform of the mysterious Black Panther, while the camera cuts to colorful jungle scenes, futuristic cityscapes, and a wild car chase.
The poster (below) reveals Boseman seated on his kingdom’s throne, giving the world a closer look at his Black Panther costume.
Three’s a crowd?
As if taking on Ulysses Klaue and Erik Killmonger wasn’t enough of a challenge for the film’s titular hero, it appears a third villain will be featured in Black Panther.
Cameras officially began rolling on Black Panther near the end of January 2017.
Filmed under the working title of Motherland, the movie was shot in Georgia’s Pinewood Atlanta Studios, with the Atlanta City Hall serving as the United Nations building in the movie. Additional filming took place in South Korea, primarily in the city of Busan.
Principle production on Black Panther ended on April 19, 2017.
Update: Added the first full-length trailer for Black Panther.