Ryan Coogler and Chadwick Boseman Talk About the Comics that Inspired the Black Panther Movie

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A lot of news about Marvel's upcoming Black Panther movie has spilled out of San Diego Comic-Con and both director Ryan Coogler and lead actor Chadwick Boseman have even more to divulge about the inspiration behind the movie. Coogler has revealed that the current Black Panther comics by Ta-Nehisi Coates are the well of inspiration he drew from while creating the Black Panther movie, Vulture reports.

Coogler called Coates his "favorite writer right now in the world" and said "But what he's doing with Panther is just incredible. You can really see his background as a poet in some of the dialogue." He also praised "what Brian Stelfreeze is doing with the visuals in that book. And some of the questions that it's asking" He said both he and co screenwriter Joe Robert Cole were found the comic inspiring.


Coogler also talked about what he most enjoyed about T'Challa, the Black Panther, as a character. "What's so great about Panther is he's a superhero who, if you grab him and ask him if he's a superhero, he'll tell you, ‘No.' He sees himself as a politician, as a leader in his country," he said. He said that he thought a lot of what was going on with the Black Panther could relate to "anything that's happening in the world right now, or in the world in the past, in the political realm and how people deal with each other".

The man play T'Challa himself, Chadwick Boseman, also gave his take on the character in an interview with io9. When asked what he liked most about T'Challa in the comics, Boseman said he liked his "strategy and strength" and seeing T'Challa keeping his focus as a world leader even in the face of criticism. When asked to pinpoint a favorite moment in the comics, Boseman cited "One of the moments was when he traps into his ancestral realm and all of the ancestors are standing around and they're panthers…"

He is referring to the fifth issue of Christopher Priest's 1998 Black Panther:

Boseman also revealed he'd read many, many comics in preperation for the role, including the comics by Reginald Hudlin and even all the way back to the comics of Jack Kirby. Boseman also talked about how meaningful Black Panther is to fans, especially fans of African descent. He explained that he didn't feel T'Challa fit the "Magical Negro" archetype despite being, as the interviewer put it "an otherworldly character who could be fixing these white folks' problems" in Captain America: Civil War. Boseman explains that "he's there for his own purpose" and " we were very cognizant about making a character that had his own through-line, his own intent and he wasn't going to waver for anybody else's story."

The Black Panther movie will premiere July 6, 2018.

It sounds to me like both Coogler and Boseman have done a lot of background reading and put a lot of thought into the character. I'm excited for the movie, especially looking at its stellar cast. What about you? Are you hyped?

Read: Fantastic Four's Michael B. Jordan Confirms Black Panther Involvement

Read: Creed Director Ryan Coogler Says Black Panther Will Be His 'Most Personal' Movie