MCU: 10 Things You Might Not Know About BLACK PANTHER - Warped Factor - Words in the Key of Geek.

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MCU: 10 Things You Might Not Know About BLACK PANTHER

Geek Dave will no longer watch from the shadows. 

1. Back in 2005, Black Panther was among the first of their comic book characters whose movie rights reverted back to Marvel (previously owned by Artisan Entertainment and Columbia Pictures) and was announced by Marvel chairman and CEO Avi Arad to be part of the original line-up of ten films being developed by the newly created Marvel Studios.

At the time, Wesley Snipes was attached to play Black Panther/T'Challa (as he had been for close to 15 years of development hell, which we looked at here), with John Singleton in talks to direct. After Snipes was convicted of tax evasion, Singleton was said to be looking at Chiwetel Ejiofor for the lead. The film ended up being delayed multiple times and everyone involved in that effort to bring Black Panther to the screen exited the production. Ejiofor, of course, ended up being cast as Mordo in Doctor Strange, and when Chadwick Boseman was eventually cast as Black Panther/T'Challa, Snipes gave his full support to the project, backing the casting "1,000 percent".

2. With Black Panther set to make his debut in Captain America: Civil War the hunt was on for an actor to play the role. Unlike just about every other superhero in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, this hunt was over before it began.

In an early production meeting for the third Captain America film, Marvel Studios president Kevin Feige bought up Chadwick Boseman's name for the role of T'Challa/Black Panther to unanimous agreement. He was approached within 24 hours and didn't even audition for the part, rather just came in and had a conversation about his feelings toward the character. Boseman didn't disappoint and was offered the role that same week, signing a five film contract.

3. Civil War introduced the Wakandan language to the MCU. Based on the Xhosa language, a South African dialect characterized by clicks and glottal stops, its inclusion in the film originated from John Kani who portrays T'Challa's father King T'Chaka and is Xhosi. Kani taught Boseman the language whilst on-set, with additional dialect coaches bought in for Black Panther.

4. One of the dialect coaches was John Kani's real-life son Atandwa, who worked closely with director Ryan Coogler in an effort to incorporate Xhosa "in natural and authentic situations", such as when multiple Wakandans were speaking in the presence of nonnatives and wanted to say something they would not understand.

Credited as Cultural Consultant, Atandwa Kani also portrays a younger version of T'Chaka, his father's character, as seen at the start of the film alongside the younger version of Forest Whitaker's character, Zuri, who is played by Denzel Whitaker.

In this case, although the two Whitaker's share the same surname, they are not father and son, nor are they related. But they have also appeared in the same film before, 2007's The Great Debaters where they played father and son.

5. Director Ryan Coogler's vision for Wakanda was inspired by the southern African country Lesotho, a country which has historically been "an enclave, able to protect its independence because of its terrain" and was only lightly colonized by the British. As a reference to Lesotho, the country's traditional blankets are featured in the film.

6. Co-stars Lupita Nyong'o and Winston Duke, who play adversaries Nakia and M'Baku, were students at the Yale School of Drama at the same time (Nyong'o was Class of '12 and Duke was Class of '13). Along with friends, the pair saw 2012's The Avengers together when it released, with both walking away awestruck and saying to each other that they hoped to get a chance to star in a similar film one day.

7. In order to train for their roles, the entire cast would warm up together before completing their individual workout regimens. It helped bond the cast even more.

All except one that is. Michael B. Jordan who played N'Jadaka/Erik "Killmonger" Stevens not only joined the production later than every other actor but kept himself to himself, never socialising with the rest of the cast between takes. This was a deliberate choice to create distance between his character and the others. Jordan kept this routine up so intensly that it spilled over into his personal life, becomming so mentally draining that once the production was over he eventually sought therapy to disconnect himself from the role of Killmonger.

8. Before all that, to prepare for the role of Killmonger, Michale B. Jordan studied Malcolm X, Marcus Garvey, Huey P. Newton, Fred Hampton, and Tupac Shakur. He also cited Heath Ledger's portrayal of the Joker in The Dark Knight as an influence.

Another very strong influence for Jordan came from Denzel Washington. After reading that Washington wore scars on his back whilst filming the 1989 civil war drama Glory, keeping them there even when not visable of filming, Jordan adopted the same method with Killmonger's self-inflicted scars. After every new scar was added, they remained on his body until production concluded.

9. Prior to her casting as Okoye in Black Panther, Danai Gurira was most famously known as Michonne in the television series The Walking Dead. A show that surely everyone has seen, right? Apparently not, as director Ryan Coogler has never watched an episode and wasn't aware she was in it, instead reaching out to Gurira after seeing her performance in 2013s Mother of George.

For the part of Okoye, Gurira's head had to be re-shaved every day in order to re-apply her head tattoos. The whole process took two-and-a-half to three-and-a-half hours each and every day of filming.

10. The first post-credits scene, which features T'Challa, Okoye, and Nakia attending a press conference, was originally intended to be part of the actual ending of the film, but was moved to during the credits so Black Panther could conclude in Oakland, where it begins. Coogler felt having this symmetry was important.

But Coogler didn't want to cut the scene completely as it was not only very relevant for the time, especially when T'Challa says "The foolish build barriers, while the wise build bridges" (it's been said this was a reference to the political climate of the presidency of Donald Trump, but Coogler stated that the line was added before Trump's election and was simply an African proverb that his wife had found) but was inspired by the look of Tony Stark's press conference in Iron Man, which Coogler had seen on opening day while he was attending film school in L.A.

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