This Black Panther Special Feature is presented in collaboration between The Rock Father™, Marvel Studios and The Walt Disney Company
The impact of Marvel Studios’ Black Panther will be felt for quite some time. A phenomenon of cultural importance as well as entertainment, the #3 movie of all-time is the story of T’Challa (Chadwick Boseman), a young African prince who takes on the mantle of King and Super Hero. Now, after thrilling and inspiring generations of moviegoers on the big screen, Black Panther is available to enjoy at home on Digital HD, 4K Ultra HD™, Blu-ray™, DVD and On-Demand. Ahead of its in-home release, I caught up with Executive Producer Nate Moore (pictured top left) for a look at some of the film’s extensive bonus features, as well as some insight into the production of Black Panther, the success of the film and where the story could go next!
For the in-home release, Moore is epecially proud of three separate bonus features. “The Crowning of a New King is sort of a behind-the-scenes of how we put Wakanda together,” he says. “It goes through everything from production design to visual effects to cast and story. Then there’s something called the Warriors Within. This is getting to know Wakanda’s women. As you know, having seen the film, the female characters are such a big important part of this film – they are, and our actresses are amazing in how they portrayed the roles. So, you get to see a little bit of how they brought Okoye (Danai Gurira)and Nakia (Lupita Nyong’o) and Shuri (Letitia Wright) to life, which we think is fantastic. And the third piece is The Hidden Kingdom Revealed. This goes into how we crafted the different tribes that make up Wakanda. One of the biggest things for us very early on was making sure Wakanda felt as authentic as possible for being this fictional African nation. You’ll get to see some of the real-life reference that we used to make sure that Wakanda feels like a place you could actually visit.”
With Black Panther being his third film at Marvel Studios, Moore has fallen into a groove, noting that development is his favorite part of the process, while pre-production is often the most painful. What he loves is getting into the meat of the production and watching it all take shape, knowing the post-production will find some adjustments in the editing bay as some scenes are lost while the truth of the film is found.
“Our actors were so locked in and their performances were so good,” he recalls. “Even on the day we’re filming we’re like ‘oh, man, that was a great scene.’ And then post is kind of painful again because you’re having to say goodbye to some scenes that you love, but you’re getting to play with music which is a lot of fun. The music is such a strong character in the movie, and our composer, Ludwig Göransson, is so talented. Then the deal with Kendrick Lamar came in at the same time. All of that stuff was really fun. So, it ebbs and flows.”
While there’s much to love about Black Panther, audiences have really been digging the dynamic between T’Challa and Shuri. Turns out that was one of the more challenging aspects to nail down.
“With Shuri we ended up doing two rounds with other actresses reading with Chad,” Nate recalls. “It was really about the chemistry with Chadwick, and one element that was true during the audition that’s still true today is that Letitia is one of the few people who can actually get Chad to laugh naturally because he’s a very reserved person. But in the audition, it was like ‘oh, that’s his sister,’ and even on set she’s one of the few people that he actually relaxes around. She’s so fantastic.
With all that in mind, could we eventually see Shuri slip on the mask and pick up the Black Panther mantle in a future installment of the Marvel Cinematic Universe? It happened in the comics, right down to Shuri being tested in ritual combat to take on the powers and abilities of the Black Panther. And we’ve already seen her in battle, complete with Panther-inspired weaponry on each arm.
“It’s definitely a fun possibility, says Moore with a smile. “We love that run in the books and she’s such a great character that really popped out of this movie. I think the sky’s the limit for Shuri, but the question is sort of what is the right time for that story?”
Black Panther is available now. Also see Black Panther in Avengers: Infinity War, now playing in theaters everywhere.
Pictured: The Avengers #InfinityWarEvent Team with Black Panther Executive Producer Nate Moore (back row, next to The Rock Father) at Marvel Studios, Burbank, California.