'Black Panther' cast headlines 'Entertainment Weekly' Comic-Con preview, plot & character details revealed

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July 12th 2017

Take a look at the cast of Black Panther, who grace the cover of Entertainment Weekly's Comic-Con preview.

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With Comic-Con being around the corner, we're sure to get more and more details about the film. Entertainment Weekly is starting us off with a cover featuring Chadwick Boseman (T'Challa), Lupita Nyong'o (Nakia), and Michael B. Jordan (Kilmonger). We're also provided with another image from the shoot with that trio and more cast members like Danai Gurira (Okoye), Forest Whitaker (Zuri), Angela Bassett (Ramonda), Daniel Kaluyya (W'Kabi) and Letitia Wright (Shuri).

Details provided by EW read: "T’Challa’s homeland is the site of massive natural deposits of Vibranium, the near-mystical metal that comprises Captain America’s shield, is woven into his Black Panther, and has allowed the people of Wakanda to make technological leaps nearly a century ahead of the rest of the world. But as T’Challa learns upon ascending the throne, the minute others know you have something valuable, someone will try to take it from you. In self-defense, Wakanda has closed itself off from the other nations of Earth, maintaining a false front that it’s a mere third-world nowhere – full of mines, farms, and jungle creatures. The truth is, its mines produce the rarest, most precious metal on earth, its fields grows the Heart-Shaped Herb, a Vibranium-enriched plant that grants its leaders superhuman strength, and its jungle creatures provide inspiration for one of the sleekest superheroes to ever leap from the page to the screen."

There are also specific about Kilmonger and his alliance with Klaue (Andy Serkis). "One such foe is Michael B. Jordan’s Erik Killmonger, a dissident from the country and aspiring prince who has colluded with a hostile foreign adversary in a bid to bring down the rightful heir to Wakanda’s throne. The enemy Killmonger has aligned with is Andy Serkis’ Ulysses Klaue, the Vibranium poacher last seen having his arm sliced off in Avengers: Age of Ultron. He has replaced the appendage with a piece of sonic mining equipment stolen from Wakanda, but the real danger is what he could tell the outside world about the nation’s secrets. With Klaue and Killmonger joining forces, T’Challa already faces an ominous external threat, but there is also unrest among the tribal leaders of Wakanda, who fear the young king is repeating his father’s mistakes by engaging too much with the outside world."

Director Ryan Coogler also dropped details about how it may actually be hard to define who is and who isn't a protagonist in the film.

“In this movie, a lot like politics, it’s a little tricky to define who’s . The film very much plays with those concepts, looking at conflicts and different motivations, and who’s with who.”

Entertainment Weekly also gives character descriptions:

Photo: Kwaku Alston/Entertainment Weekly/Marvel Photo: Kwaku Alston/Entertainment Weekly/Marvel

T'Challa (Chadwick Boseman): "He has to keep harmony between the tribes within his country, and that means managing expectations and doing things that are unpopular,” Coogler says. “At the same time, he is the protector of that nation," said Coogler.

Ramonda (Anglea Bassett): "She is one of the advisors that he would look to,” Boseman says. “He has to look to her 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. She is the queen mother. And she’s that for not just him, but for everybody. She has her hands in everything — even his love life," said Boseman.

Nakia (Lupita Nyong'o): Here, she's described as a "former lover" of T'Challa's. She is a departure from what she was in the comic book,” Nyong’o says. “Nakia is a war dog. She is basically an undercover spy for Wakanda. Her job is to go out into the world and report back on what’s going on," said Nyong'o.

Okoye (Danai Gurira): The head of the Dora Milaje, she's just as close as family.  “They are a very powerful force. They are not utopic, but what Wakanda has down well is it has allowed people to function within their strengths. These women, their strength is to preserve Wakanda. It’s more like the secret service in a sense that it’s not just military. She is head of intel," said Gurira.

Shuri (Letitia Wright): Princess of Wakanda who designs their technology and is fierce in battle. “She is also a genius and runs the entire Wakandan design group. She’s responsible for all these amazing technological advances that Vibranium has brought about from Wakanda," said Kevin Feige, Marvel president and main architect of the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU).

Erik Kilmonger (Michael B. Jordan): "I think Killmonger has his own opinion on how Wakanda has been run and should run, and what I think Michael brings to the table is sort of a charming antagonist, who doesn’t agree with how T’Challa is running things, frankly. I think that puts T’Challa in a difficult situation. Killmonger is a voice of a different side of Wakanda," said EP Nate Moore.


W'Kabi (Daniel Kaluyya): Head of security for the Border Tribe, another important group in Wakanda. He's also T'Challa's best friend. He helps maintain Wakanda's guise of being "just mines, farms and woods." "They live on the borders of Wakanda and serve as the first line of defense for the country. To outsiders they appear to be what people would ‘expect’ of a small provincial African nation – but the truth is they are some of the fiercest warriors in Wakanda, intent on protecting the secrets of their advanced nation at all costs," said Moore. When T'Challa becomes kind, W'Kabi joins him as a palace advisor.


Zuri (Forest Whitaker): A longtime advisor to T'Challa's father and keeper of the heart-shaped herb. "He’s somewhat a religious figure or spiritual figure. Spirituality is something that exists in Wakanda in the comics, and it’s something we wanted to have elements of in the film. Forest’s character, more than anything, is a major tie-back to T’Challa’s father. Zuri is someone he looks to for guidance," said Coogler.

M'Baku (Winston Duke): Known as Man-Ape in the canon, Moore says he won't go by that in Black Panther and won't don a full gorilla mask. "Having a black character dress up as an ape, I think there’s a lot of racial implications that don’t sit well, if done wrong. But the idea that they worship the gorilla gods is interesting because it’s a movie about the Black Panther who, himself, is a sort of deity in his own right," he said. Moore says M'Baku is head of a Wakandan religious minority and while not much about him is revealed, he's not happy with the new king and had beef with T'Challa's father T'Chaka about bringing Wakanda to the U.N.



The full Comic-Con preview issue of Entertainment Weekly comes out later this week, so we're sure to have more details on Black Panther very soon. For starters, here are photos from the spread. You can view all 20 here.

















 

Also, check out these stunning cast portraits:

















The film is directed by Ryan Coogler and produced by Kevin Feige with Louis D’Esposito, Victoria Alonso, Nate Moore, Jeffrey Chernov and Stan Lee serving as executive producers. Ryan Coogler & Joe Robert Cole wrote the screenplay.

Marvel Studios’ Black Panther hits U.S. theaters on February 16, 2018.

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