The narrative around superhero films has historically been one of whiteness and male-dominance. Ryan Coogler's fantastic new Marvel comic adaption Black Panther changes this, triumphantly. It's a story that celebrates the strength, beauty and power of men and women of African descent, and breathes new life into genre.
The comic book character Black Panther, the first superhero of African descent in mainstream American comics, was initially conceived in 1966, first appearing in comic Fantastic Four #52. Real name T'challa, the Black Panther is the king of Wakanda – a fictional East African Nation powered the precious element vibranium.
Over half a century after the comic book was first printed, Marvel have brought this futuristic African utopia to the big screen, with starring roles from Lupita Nyong'o, Chadwick Boseman, Michael B. Jordan, Daniel Kaluuya and Letitia Wright, to name a few.
From bringing modern black superheroes to the Marvel universe and cinema's across the globe, to taking in the entire African diaspora in such a meaningful and impactful way, and presenting female characters as powerful as their male counterparts, Coogler's Black Panther is truly a moment in time. The reviews are unanimous: this film changes the game. In case you need a little more convincing, we went down to its London premiere and met the stars and director, to find out why the film means so much to them. Wakanda forever!
Marvel Studios’ Black Panther will be released in UK cinemas on 13 February, 2018.